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UK Defense Ministry: Russia considers deploying more troops to Dnipro River's east bank

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 14, 2023 12:04 PM 2 min read
The destroyed Antonivsky bridge over the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. The bridge was blown by Russian forces when they retreated from Kherson in November 2022. (Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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After Ukrainian cross-river raids in Kherson Oblast, Russia has faced the dilemma of whether to strengthen this area or deploy forces in the main sectors of Ukraine's counteroffensive operations, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Aug. 14.

Over the last week, small-scale combat has intensified along the banks of the lower reaches of the Dnipro River, the ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update.

Ukrainian forces have carried out raids and tried to gain a foothold at new locations on the Russian-occupied east bank, according to the update.

In addition, Ukrainian troops have expanded the bridgehead they have been holding next to the destroyed Antonivsky Bridge since June 2023, reads the report. "Some of these operations likely took advantage of a local Russian force rotation."

The two sides also continue to fight for control over small islands in the Dnipro estuary, the U.K. Defense Ministry added.

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On Aug. 9, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Ukrainian forces had conducted a cross-river raid deep into Russian-held territories in Kherson Oblast, managing to breach Russian defenses and push forward by up to 800 meters.

The Kyiv Independent's source in Ukraine's Armed Forces later confirmed the information. He added that the operation's participants had taken 16 Russian soldiers as prisoners and brought them back to the government-controlled side of the river.

Ukrainian forces in the area told the Kyiv Independent that they have been conducting small overnight raids across the river for months.

Ukrainian troops regularly cross Dnipro River, probing Russian defenses in Kherson Oblast
Kherson Oblast – Ukrainian soldiers board a speedboat one by one. It sinks deeper into the water, weighed down by the men, their weapons, and equipment. The soldiers at the stern push off from the riverbank with oars until, finally, they turn on the boat’s engine, roaring into the darkness toward


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