Ukrainian forces have launched “expanded” operations on the eastern bank of the Dniepro River in the Kherson Oblast, according to reports from the Institute for War Studies. This signifies a successful crossing of the river, a natural barrier heavily guarded by fortified Russian formations. The Ukrainian military aims to cut off Russian supply lines, complicating the logistics for the occupying forces. While it’s premature to declare a breakthrough, crossing the Dniepro and potential consolidation on the eastern bank should be viewed as a significant success for the Ukrainian army.
Reports of the Dniepro River crossing emerged yesterday. The Ukrainian General Staff announced Russian shelling of the village of Pischanyvka in the southern part of the Kherson Oblast, 3 kilometers east of the river. The Institute for War Studies reported that Ukrainian forces were operating approximately 4 kilometers east of the Dniepro River channel.
In recent weeks, military bloggers and war analysts have been sharing information about the formation of a significant Ukrainian military presence in the Kherson Oblast. At least 10 brigades, including marine infantry units and a substantial amount of heavy equipment, were observed. This surprised conflict observers, as it was believed that Kyiv would focus its efforts on the Donetsk (Bakhmut, Avdiivka) and Zaporizhzhia directions, where the main objective was to reach Tokmak, a crucial supply line for Russian forces.
Today, we are likely witnessing the initial results of the reinforced Ukrainian push towards the Dniepro River. Ukrainians claim to have not only entered the territory east of the river but also to have deployed forces on the left bank. This information is of utmost importance. The counteroffensive aims to sever the occupied territory from Russia and gain control over the land corridor leading to the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.
BBC has reported contact with soldiers from the Ukrainian 46th Airborne Assault Brigade, confirming actions on the eastern bank. They reportedly engaged in heavy fighting for the village of Krynyky. The first assault was likely repelled by the Russians. However, if the Ukrainians manage to succeed there, they will gain control of an incredibly important settlement, providing a base for more advanced units. This would enable a larger-scale offensive.
The Institute for War Studies also confirms increased Ukrainian military activity in the region. Additionally, reports of fighting near Krynyky have been relayed by Russian military bloggers.
The Institute for War Studies quotes Russian sources reporting “elements of two Ukrainian marine infantry brigades that conducted a storm across the Dniepro to the eastern bank.”
Russian blogger WarGonzo wrote on Thursday that Ukrainian units fighting on the left bank were previously trained in the United Kingdom, as we reported in August.
Further information is now coming directly from the Russian Ministry of National Defense, which, in a terse statement, described the “suppression of activity” of four Ukrainian reconnaissance-diversionary groups near the village of Poima.
Moscow claims – of course – that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kherson Oblast is inevitably coming to an end. Vladimir Putin himself spoke about this, reporting “no results and losses” on Kyiv’s side in Chinese media this week.
Fighting is set to continue at any cost, with soldiers from the 46th brigade quoted by the BBC stating that winter will not be a period of waiting. Currently, rainy weather hampers operations. The weather affects electronics, including drones, reconnaissance equipment, and aviation.