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Russia admits Ukrainian troops operate on Dnipro River's occupied east bank

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 15, 2023 9:08 PM 2 min read
The destroyed Antonivsky bridge over the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. The bridge was blown up by Russian forces when they retreated from Kherson in November 2022. (Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Russia, for the first time, admitted on Nov. 15 that Ukrainian soldiers established positions on the occupied Dnipro River's east-bank side of Kherson Oblast.

Volodymyr Saldo, Russia-installed leader in the occupied part of Kherson Oblast, said on his Telegram channel that small groups of Ukrainian soldiers were spread from a railway bridge in the oblast to Krynky, a village some 35 kilometers east of Kherson and two kilometers southeast of the Dnipro River.

He claimed that Ukrainian troops present in Krynky are under heavy Russian fire and are allegedly taking heavy losses.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify Saldo's claims regarding the status of the engagements.

Nataliia Humeniuk, the spokesperson of Ukraine's Southern Operational Command, said that Russian forces are "actively defending" near the Dnipro River.

"The pushback from our side is taking place on a line from three to eight kilometers along the entire bank from the water's edge," she said on television.

Ukraine has been conducting cross-river raids into the occupied east bank since February, with more intensified attacks reported in August.

The U.K. Defense Ministry said in July that Ukrainian forces are maintaining a beachhead near the Antonivsky Bridge.

Over the past weeks, Russian military bloggers reported that the Ukrainian military established footholds on the occupied bank, and geolocated footage from Oct. 19 confirmed Ukrainian presence in Krynky.

Experts told the Kyiv Independent that if Ukraine can put together an armored strike force on the eastern bank, it could be devastating for Russian troops, but it's unclear how they can manage with Russia's advantage in the air. Amphibious attacks are also notoriously difficult.

Ukrainians step up efforts to cross Dnipro, tie up Russian forces in Kherson Oblast
Pressure is mounting on Russian forces across the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian forces have reportedly stepped up their attacks on Russian positions to try and secure a beachhead and bring heavy armor into the fight. They aren’t quite there yet, but assaults on the eastern bank could
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