Russian sources expressed "pronounced concern" about ongoing Ukrainian activity on the east bank of Kherson Oblast and framed these activities as part of a potential larger Ukrainian operation, the Institute for the Study of War said in their latest update on Oct. 18.
The experts note, however, that the majority of Russian claims about developments on the east bank are largely single-sourced to one prominent Russian military blogger who has recently heavily focused his reporting on this section of the front.
Russian sources characterized the reported assaults as a Ukrainian effort to expand a “bridgehead” on the east bank and the initial stages of a larger offensive operation across the Dnipro River.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin similarly described Ukrainian activity in Kherson Oblast as the “next counteroffensive” and continued his typical rhetorical line by painting all Ukrainian offensive operations as a failure, according to the ISW.
The think-tank admits it is difficult to assess the scope and prospects of the Ukrainian activity on the east bank on Kherson Oblast. "However, it is noteworthy that prominent and generally reliable Russian sources are discussing Ukrainian activities on the east bank as occurring at a larger scale than previously documented tactical cross-river raids by Ukrainian forces."