A small group of gallant Ukrainian soldiers have managed to make their way to the Russian-controlled side of the Dnipro River in the southern part of their country. Despite facing a relentless bombardment, they tenaciously hold onto their position.
These marines have successfully established a beachhead, which offers a glimmer of hope for Ukraine to potentially recapture more of the Kherson region. This area lies between mainland Ukraine and Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. It’s a much-needed boost for their counter-offensive efforts, which have seen limited progress in other areas. However, their next major challenge lies in finding a way to transport armored vehicles and heavy weaponry across the wide river that separates the two opposing military forces.
Krynky is a small settlement located on the Russian-occupied left bank of the expansive Dnipro River in the southern region of Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian forces have carried out numerous small-scale raids across the Dnipro River since liberating the northern part of the Kherson Oblast on the river’s right bank in late 2022. Typically, these Ukrainian operations involve engaging with Russian troops, causing some casualties, and inflicting damage before retreating as Russian artillery and drones intensify their attacks.
However, the operation that took place on October 19th marked a significant departure from the norm. This time, the Ukrainian forces decided to hold their ground. Ten days later, they not only maintain their presence in Krynky but have also expanded their control over the settlement, which stretches across a three-mile-wide area.
In mid-October, when the Ukrainian marines conducted a landing on the east bank of the Dnipro River, they faced a swift response from Russian infantry forces. The Russian infantry launched a counterattack, supported by artillery and drone surveillance. During this week, there has been a notable development. Reports say that new teams of Ukrainian marines had successfully crossed the Dnipro River under the cover of night to reinforce the Ukrainian contingent on the east bank. A security source has described the Ukrainian position as “stable” in light of these developments.
The Ukrainian marines have established a position on the east bank of the Dnipro River, near the remains of a bridge, and have successfully captured at least a portion of the village of Krynky. This quaint village, adorned with fruit trees, gained fame thanks to the Ukrainian humorist Ostap Vishnia, and his museum now stands among the modest houses from which the Ukrainian troops are working to secure the village after driving out Russian forces.
Krynky, like the rest of the region, experienced flooding when the Kakhova dam on the Dnipro River was destroyed in June. It is believed that the Russians, who controlled the dam at that time, may have been involved in its sabotage, although the Kremlin denies any responsibility for the dam’s destruction.
Beyond Krynky, there are Russian defenses in place, including trenches and minefields that extend as deep as 500 meters into the territory that President Putin has captured since his order for a full-scale invasion in February 2022. While these defenses are believed to be somewhat less formidable in the Kherson region compared to the Zaporizhzhia region, where Ukraine is launching its attacks from the north, they still present a significant obstacle.
There are indications that the Ukrainian incursion on the east bank of the Dnipro River has raised concerns in Moscow.