Ukrainian marines fire a mortar in September.

Photo by the 38th Marine Brigade

Ukrainian troops leave A U.S.-made Humvee jeep was traveling in southern Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast in recent days, and Russian troops encountered the stalled vehicle and set it on fire.

Believe it or not, the loss of this Humvee is good news for advocates of a free Ukraine. Because of Where The location of the Humvee when its occupants disembarked was: the left bank of the Dnipro River.

The presence of a Ukrainian Humvee on the predominantly Russian-controlled side of the Dnipro means the Ukrainians managed to get vehicles across the wide river into a shallow bridgehead that Kiev forces established in a series of daring raids late last month had.

A burning Humvee is not the only evidence that heavier Ukrainian equipment crossed the Dnipro. On Tuesday, an alleged Russian paratrooper complained in a post for a popular Telegram channel that the Ukrainians had “managed not only to advance to the left bank, but also to take positions along the bank and occupy some of the villages.” !

The Ukrainian military is “holding positions and also transporting armored vehicles across the Dnipro,” the suspected paratrooper added. Every vehicle that crosses the river increases the Ukrainians’ chance of maintaining and expanding their bridgehead.

It might be premature to say that Ukraine has opened a new front in its five-month-old counteroffensive. But not much.

Since the liberation of the northern Kherson Oblast on the right bank of the river in late 2022, Ukrainian forces have launched many small raids across the Dnipro. Typically, the Ukrainians kill or capture a few Russians, do some damage, and then flee while Russian artillery and drones intervene.

But the operation across the river, which began on October 19, was different. This time the Ukrainians – supposedly from the 38th Marine Brigade – stayed. Ten days into the operation, not only were the Marines still on the left bank of the Dnipro, they had extended their control to Krynky, a three-mile-wide settlement that quickly became the scene of Ukrainian attacks in southern Kherson Oblast.

A Russian Marine from the 810th Guards Marine Brigade described his brigade’s situation as “very difficult.”

The Ukrainians “are constantly firing artillery at us, using cluster munitions and, most importantly, using a whole horde of them.” [first-person-view] Drones and UAVs with [grenades] who work around the clock.”

How the Ukrainians have maintained and expanded their Dnipro bridgehead can be seen in photos, videos and social media posts from the front. We can see small boats and amphibious landing craft; The Ukrainians probably also used pontoon bridges.

Both Ukrainian and Russian sources have discussed Ukraine’s advantage in aerial drones over this particular sector. First, Ukrainian forces blocked Russian drones. Then they used their own drones – for reconnaissance, artillery observation, bombing and resupply.

The supply drones are a rarely seen ability. “The guys have penetrated very deep to the left bank of Kherson and it is difficult to deliver fuel to them by water and land – it is life-threatening!” wrote a Ukrainian drone operator. “The Bombardier drone we bought can lift 15 kilograms on board and carry batteries for radios, power banks and food [and] Water for the boys.”

While some drones deliver vital supplies to the Ukrainian garrison, others drop grenades on Russian vehicles attacking the Krynky bridgehead – most recently a T-72 tank. The Russians were largely powerless to stop Ukrainian drone flights, suppress Ukrainian artillery, or outwit Ukrainian commanders.

“Several Russian sources, including a broadcaster affiliated with the Wagner Group, complained about the lack of counter-batteries, electronic warfare and command and control capabilities of Russian forces in the Kherson direction, especially near Krynky,” the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, noted DC.

There was a time, shortly after the Ukrainian Marines landed in Krynky, when the Russian Marines on the left bank of the Dnipro might have counterattacked and pushed the Ukrainians back into the water.

They didn’t do it – or they just tried and failed. And now Ukraine has accommodation in the south of Kherson. One from which it could launch attacks deeper into Russian-held territory.

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