“Russian Withdrawal: Evidence and Analysis of Ukrainian Troops Crossing Dnipro near Kherson”

2023-04-23 09:33:00

Evidence of Russian withdrawal
Analysts: Ukrainian troops cross Dnipro near Kherson

In November, Russia withdraws from Cherson to the other side of the river, on the east bank of the Dnipro. But this position also seems to be in danger: reports by Russian military bloggers show that the Ukrainian army has crossed the Dnipro and established stable supply lines.

According to military experts, Ukraine has taken up positions on the east bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region for the first time since the war began. The analysts of the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) report that Ukrainian forces are located north of the small town of Oleshky. From there they are said to have advanced north towards the E97 expressway. A second position was therefore set up near the strategically important Antonivka Bridge near Dachi.

… showing Russian soldiers defending the eastern bank of the Dnipro near Cherson.

(Foto: picture alliance/dpa/TASS)

The think tank bases its statements on several reports by Russian military bloggers. From the wealth of reports it can be reliably concluded that the Ukrainian troops successfully crossed the Dnipro – presumably several weeks ago.

The Russian bloggers criticize the fact that Ukraine has been able to establish stable supply lines and regularly carries out operations in the region. The military experts emphasize that this indicates a lack of Russian control of the area. However, it is unclear to what extent and with what purpose the Ukrainian armed forces have taken up a position on the east bank of the Dnipro.

Fear of counter-offensive?

The small town of Oleshky is about seven kilometers south-east of Cherson. The capital of the region of the same name is located across the river on the western bank of the Dnipro. The strategically important city was conquered by the Russian army just a few days after the start of the war. Russia then occupied Kherson for eight months, until last November, under pressure from Ukrainian troops, the Russian military command issued the order to withdraw.

The Russian troops then withdrew to the eastern bank of the river, including to Oleschky. However, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces had already reported at the end of February that the occupation authorities deployed by Moscow were preparing to withdraw completely from the Kherson region to Crimea for fear of another Ukrainian offensive. Similar reports are known from the city of Skadowsk on the Black Sea.

As the ISW reports, the information provided by the Russian military bloggers also shows that Russia has lost control of several islands in the Dnipro Delta southwest of Kherson. This, too, points to Ukrainian successes in the region. Several bloggers have criticized the lack of Russian artillery fire. The military experts suspect that Russia has withdrawn to build defensive positions in cities like Oleshky.

Ukraine had always declared that it would liberate all areas occupied by Russian troops. Crimea in particular is regularly declared a target by the Ukrainian leadership. If the region were conquered from the Cherson region, the path would be clear for the Ukrainian army to the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia.

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