Saturday, November 18, 2023

UKRaine Seeks to Reignite Counteroffensive With Daring River Crossings'; UKR Troops Operate in Occupied Kherson Region After Crossing River; UKR advanceS on Kherson Oblast Left bank and Near Verbove; 820 RUs killed, 15 Tanks Destroyed 24hrs, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Roman Pilipey/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
WSJ: Ukraine Seeks to Reignite Counteroffensive With Daring River Crossings
Ukrainian marines slip across the Dnipro River at night in small groups to reinforce a growing contingent of troops engaged in a daring operation to reinvigorate Kyiv’s military efforts in the occupied south.
They have established three toeholds in and around villages on the eastern bank of the river in recent weeks, cutting off a road Russia uses to supply troops in the area, according to soldiers involved in the operation. The Ukrainians are hunkered down in basements and trenches and heavily outnumbered. Their hold is precarious.
Still, it is a rare bright spot for Kyiv amid a number of somber developments, including the failure of its counteroffensive to gain much ground, a new Russian offensive in the east and uncertainty over additional military aid from the U.S., Ukraine’s most important backer. Ukraine first publicly acknowledged the cross-river operation this week.
Ukrainian forces recently transferred armored Humvees and at least one infantry-fighting vehicle to support troops on the Dnipro’s eastern bank, the soldiers said. If the Ukrainians manage to amass sufficient units and armored vehicles there, they could seek to advance into territory where Russian defenses are less extensive than those further east that blunted the main thrust of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
That could force Russia to reposition forces needed for offensives to the east, and pose a threat to Russian supply lines from occupied Crimea, a critical staging post and logistics hub for Moscow’s war effort that Ukraine has been targeting with drone and missile attacks for weeks.
The operation on the opposite bank a few miles from the Ukrainian-held regional capital of Kherson is proving costly and hard going. Soldiers involved in the fight say they are under heavy fire. Russian drones constantly circle over their hastily dug trenches, coordinating artillery strikes each time they detect movement. As darkness falls, the Ukrainian troops use shovels to dig themselves deeper into the ground.
“We need to be realistic about what can be achieved here,” said Franz-Stefan Gady, an independent military analyst who recently toured the front lines in Ukraine. “The terrain is extremely difficult, making it not only a challenge to steadily resupply forces but also generate the necessary momentum to conduct sustained offensive operations.”
One private in Ukraine’s 38th Marine Brigade who crossed to the eastern bank at the start of November said his unit had advanced 100 yards in the six days he was there before he was evacuated for treatment of a concussion.
“For every fighter we have there, they have 10,” said the 32-year-old private, who gave his name as Andriy. “And we’re sitting in trenches unable to even stick our heads out.”
Ukraine’s recapture of Kherson last November was its last major advance. Russia withdrew troops across the river and began digging defenses. --->READ MORE HERE
REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi/File photo
Ukrainian troops operate in occupied Kherson region after crossing river:
Ukrainian troops have crossed the vast River Dnipro into occupied areas of Kherson region and are operating in small groups, Russia conceded on Wednesday, saying it had dispatched more troops to stop them.
Ukraine said on Tuesday it had secured a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro "against all odds", a potentially major setback for Russian occupation forces in the south where Kyiv is trying to open a new line of attack.
A Ukrainian military spokesperson added on Wednesday that Ukrainian troops were trying to push Russian forces back from the eastern bank of the river, a formidable natural barrier.
Military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko told media outlet RBK Ukraine that the growing area of contested control on the eastern bank "significantly reduces the mobility and capability of the Russian occupiers".
Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed governor of the part of Kherson region under Moscow's control, noted that Ukrainian forces had crossed the river, but were taking heavy losses.
Ukrainian forces, he said in a statement, were operating in small groups spread over an area from a railway bridge to the village of Krynky, a distance of around 20 km (12 miles).
"Our additional forces have now been brought in. The enemy is trapped in (the settlement of) Krynky and a fiery hell has been arranged for him: bombs, rockets, heavy flamethrower systems, artillery shells and drones," said Saldo.
Citing information from Russia's "Dnepr" military grouping, he said Ukrainian forces were pinned down in basements in the day and predicted the Ukrainian assault would be thwarted.
The village of Krynky lies close to the Dnipro around 30 km northeast of the city of Kherson, which Ukraine recaptured almost exactly a year ago.
Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine's southern military command, described the frontline as "fairly fluid" and said Kyiv's forces had been putting pressure on Russian troops.
"The pushback from our side is taking place on a line from 3 to 8 km along the entire bank from the water's edge," she said.
"For now, we will ask for informational silence ... which would allow us to report later on great successes." --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

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