Most of the fighting between Ukraine and Russia is taking place in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, in Southern Ukraine, and in the Donbas. But Kyiv might be trying to open another front.
Ukraine’s military in recent days has intensified its offensive efforts in the Kherson Oblast and along the Dnipro River.
With their forces having failed thus far to achieve an operational breakthrough, Ukrainian leadership might be looking for alternatives.
Fighting Along the Dnipro
In its latest estimate of the war, British Military Intelligence assessed that “over the last week, fighting has intensified around the banks of the lower reaches of the Dnipro River. Ukraine has given higher priority to operations in this sector, building up small bridgeheads on the east bank it has controlled since the summer.”
Ukrainian special operations forces distract and harass Russian forces on the eastern bank of the Dnipro.
“Russia has likely been alert to the possibility of attacks across the river since it withdrew its forces from the western bank 12 months ago,” British Military Intelligence stated.
“As in most sectors, a decisive factor is almost certainly the combatants’ ability to bring accurate, intense artillery fire to bear. Initial indication suggests that Russia has maintained a significant artillery capability within range of the river,” British Military Intelligence added.
Since launching their counteroffensive in early June, Ukrainian forces have systematically targeted Moscow’s long-range fires capabilities in southern Ukraine and the Donbas. According to Kyiv, the Ukrainian military has destroyed more than 2,000 artillery pieces and multiple launch rocket systems in the past four months.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military continues to inflict heavy losses on the invading Russian forces.
On day 609 of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation,” the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces once again lost more than 800 men killed, wounded, or captured, as well as dozens of heavy weapon systems.
In the past couple of weeks, Russian forces have lost more than 12,000 men and more than 1,300 heavy weapon systems. The Russian military continues to struggle to overcome these losses and generate enough forces to remain effective.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 296,310 Russian troops. They also claim they have destroyed 324 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets; 324 attack and transport helicopters; 5,112 tanks; 7,125 artillery pieces; 9,697 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles; 833 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; 21 warships, submarines, boats, and cutters; 9,474 vehicles and fuel tanks; 554 anti-aircraft batteries; 5,372 tactical unmanned aerial systems; 1,007 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems; and 1,538 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 and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is pursuing a J.D. at Boston College Law School. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.
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