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16 Nov. 2023


How did Ukrainian soldiers gain a foothold in the village of Krynky in a month and what to expect next?

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How did Ukrainian soldiers gain a foothold in the village of Krynky in a month and what to expect next?

The Ukrainian Armed Forces' operation on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast has been going on for a month now and is gradually gaining momentum. Find out how Ukrainian soldiers managed to create a bridgehead and what steps to expect next

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Ukrainian troops made their first attempts to cross the Dnipro and reach the left bank of the Dnipro in Kherson region in 2022, when they liberated the entire right bank along the Dnipro in a counteroffensive and forced the russians to retreat. However, the active offensive operations that began in the spring of 2023 were hindered by a russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovka Dam, as almost all coastal villages in the Kherson region were submerged.

Nevertheless, in the summer of 2023, the Ukrainian Armed Forces reached the left bank and managed to gain a foothold along the river. The first bridgehead of the Ukrainian army was near the pillars of the destroyed Antonivskyi Bridge. In late summer, it became known about another bridgehead near the village of Kozachi Lageri. And in October, Ukrainian troops significantly expanded their control zone and created two more footholds near the villages of Krynky and Pishchanivka.

What is happening in the Kherson region now, what potential capabilities do the Ukrainian Armed Forces have, and what to expect next - read on.

Krynky, Pidstepne, Pishchanivka, Poyma: how did the Ukrainian Armed Forces manage to gain a foothold?

Although the operation on the left bank of the Dnipro River is gaining momentum, it is taking place in extremely difficult conditions, as the river is a serious obstacle to logistics. Thus, the transfer of personnel, combat vehicles and heavy equipment is not only very slow, but also under heavy fire from the russian side. Moreover, the Ukrainian Armed Forces do not have air reinforcements, and therefore all operations are very risky.

So far, there are several settlements where Ukrainian troops have managed to take up positions and gain a foothold. These are:

- Krynky village (30 km northeast of Kherson and 2 km from the Dnipro River);

- the area near the villages of Poyma, Pishchanivka and Pidstepne (10-17 km east of Kherson and 3-4 km from the Dnipro River).

Photo: deepstatemap

Recently, the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) confirmed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to organize the transfer of a limited amount of heavy equipment to the area. In particular, with the help of amphibious transporters that transported armored personnel carriers, guns and other equipment to the left bank. However, the situation still remains difficult, as crossing the river is a very difficult task even for trained soldiers.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces cross the river on small landing boats, but given their shortage, the Ukrainian side is still limited in its capabilities.

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Ukraine or russia: Who has an advantageous position on the left bank of the Dnipro?

First of all, it should be noted that this area is inconvenient for the russians in terms of logistics, as it is the most remote for supplying the BC, equipment, and personnel. Moreover, a significant part of the forces from this area has been redeployed to other parts of the front to attempt to storm Ukrainian positions, and therefore the russians are experiencing a lack of manpower. 

It is worth noting that on November 13, russian media stated that the russian army intends to "retreat to more favorable positions and regroup", but almost immediately denied their own statements, which may indicate that russia is indeed in a rather disadvantageous position.

In addition, it is important that the right bank is much higher than the left, which means that it will be extremely difficult for the russian side to drive the Ukrainian army out of the established footholds. After all, Ukrainian artillery on the right bank will not allow the russians to approach without significant losses. 

Another important advantage of Ukraine is that the left bank of the Kherson region does not have the same defensive lines and fortifications as, for example, in Zaporizhzhia region. This means that despite the very difficult conditions, the Armed Forces have every chance to expand their zone of control and deal a decisive blow to the occupation forces.

Will Ukraine attack Crimea?

Indeed, the left bank of the Dnipro River opens a direct route to Crimea for Ukraine, but experts say that the Armed Forces are currently facing other challenges.

According to Kostyantyn Mashovets, a military observer of the Information Resistance group, in an interview with Channel 5, the primary goal of the Ukrainian army is to cut off the supply routes of the russian federation. In particular, the Oleshky-Nova Kakhovka highway (T2206). And according to some representatives of the occupation authorities, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are already making progress and control a certain part of the road.

"The problem is that the logistics between the Kinburn Spit and Oleshky, as well as between Oleshky and Nova Kakhovka, are disrupted. That is, we have to go around and make a big enough detour to deliver the combat center and personnel," Volodymyr Rogov said on russian television.

Thus, the destruction of russian logistics could force the russians to retreat east to Radensk, leaving the Kinburn Spit, which is extremely important for Ukraine, including the possibility of unblocking some Mykolaiv and Kherson ports. Furthermore, Ukraine will be able to completely block the logistics routes to Crimea, and thus cut off a significant portion of supplies for russian troops.

In addition, if Ukrainian troops are able to expand their zone of control and launch a full-scale offensive on the left bank, russia will be forced to transfer its personnel to this area, including Zaporizhzhia region, which will allow the Ukrainian army to continue its offensive in the Melitopol direction.

At the same time, military experts and analysts are reluctant to speculate on the likely course of events and make any assumptions, as it is not yet known what plan the Ukrainian army will follow and what goals it will pursue in the first place. However, it is possible that events could gain momentum at the most unexpected moment.

We remind you! Since September 2023, Ukraine has been talking about how everyone should prepare for a war of attrition. Read what this phase of the war entails and whether Ukraine will be able to win if it engages in positional battles with russia in our previous article.

Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

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