Sunday February 25, 2024

Russia admits Ukrainian troops on occupied bank of Dnipro river

November 16, 2023
The image shows a Russian soldier standing guard. — AFP File
The image shows a Russian soldier standing guard. — AFP File

KYIV, Ukraine: Russia said on Wednesday for the first time that some Ukrainian troops had established positions on the Moscow-held side of the Dnipro river, the vast waterway that splits the frontline in southern Ukraine.

A sustained Ukrainian breakthrough across the river would mark a significant tactical success for Kyiv, whose wider counteroffensive has so far failed to turn the tide of the 21-month war. “Small groups” of Ukrainian soldiers were stretched along the eastern bank of the Dnipro river, and had been “blocked” in the tiny village of Krynky, the Moscow-installed head of Ukraine´s Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, said in a post on Telegram.

But he insisted they were facing a “fiery hell” from Russian artillery, rockets and drones, and were suffering heavy losses. Russian and Ukrainian forces have been entrenched on opposite sides of the Dnipro river since Moscow withdrew from the western part of Kherson region last November.

That was the last major territorial change in the conflict, with both sides having since failed to make any significant progress despite staging multiple offensives. Russia´s Saldo said on Wednesday that “about one and a half enemy companies, mostly in small groups,” were currently on the Russian-held side.

According to Russia´s TASS news agency, a company in the Russian military system consists of 45-360 soldiers. “Our additional forces have now been deployed.