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Putin Should Worry: Ukraine Is ‘Trying to Breach’ Russian Defenses

M270 MLRS. Image: Lockheed Martin.
Image: Lockheed Martin.

Ukrainian forces continue to attack in the south, trying to breach Russian defenses.

Kyiv is mainly attacking in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, but there have been raids in the neighboring Kherson Oblast as well.

Raiding Across the River in Ukraine

In the last few days, the Ukrainians have increased their attacks on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.

“Ukrainian forces appear to have conducted a limited raid across the Dnipro River and landed on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast, although it remains unclear whether Ukrainian troops have established an enduring presence on the east bank,” the Institute for the Study of War assessed in its latest estimate of the war. 

The Ukrainian military first landed in force on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in the initial weeks of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. However, it didn’t reinforce the beachhead with sufficient force to present an operational threat to the Russian forces in the area and in southern Ukraine.

The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam and Hydroelectric Power Station by Russian forces in June reshaped the battlefield in Kherson. The Kremlin’s goal was to flood the area and prevent the Ukrainian military from launching a large-scale amphibious operation. However, it also created additional opportunities for Ukrainian special operations forces, which have been conducting raids in the area using small boats.

It is unlikely that the Ukrainians will be able to open a serious front in this area of the battlefield before they make advances elsewhere. An amphibious operation is extremely difficult and requires lots of resources, not only to pull off but also to sustain. However, the Ukrainians could try to divert Russian troops and resources in the area by feigning an attempt to open another front. Special operations forces are ideal for this purpose. They can attack with speed and create the illusion of a much larger force due to their disproportionate firepower.

Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Meanwhile, on day 533 of the Russian invasion, the Russian military is starting to lose more men every day. 

Russian forces continue to take extremely heavy artillery losses. In the past four days alone, the Russians have lost close to 105 artillery pieces and almost 10 multiple-launch rocket systems. Artillery remains the key weapons system on the battlefield, and, as a result, both sides are trying to destroy their adversaries’ artillery pieces. 

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 251,620 Russian troops. They also claim they have destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets; 312 attack and transport helicopters; 4,262 tanks; 5,013 artillery pieces; 8,290 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles; 711 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; 18 boats and cutters; 7,479 vehicles and fuel tanks; 469 anti-aircraft batteries; 4,175 tactical unmanned aerial systems; 742 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems; and 1,377 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

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1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.