One French analyst, nonetheless, stated Kyiv’s latest positive factors on the battlefield in opposition to Russia had been “pretty symbolic”.
Ukrainian successes after months of unsuccessful counteroffensive shall be troublesome to transform into an actual breakthrough in its conflict in opposition to Russia, army specialists advised AFP.
On Sunday, Kyiv introduced its troops had reached the left financial institution of the Dnieper River, occupied by the Russian military.
It claimed to have pushed Moscow’s forces again “3 to eight km” on this entrance line within the southern Kherson area, with out specifying whether or not Ukrainian troops had been in full management of the realm.
If confirmed, it could be the most important advance by Ukraine’s military in opposition to Russia for the reason that recapture of Robotyne within the Zaporizhia area in August, following the launch of the counteroffensive in June.
Chief of Russian-occupied Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, admitted that “about one and a half corporations” of Ukrainian troopers – doubtlessly lots of of males – had established positions close to Krynky village throughout the Dnieper, although he downplayed its significance.
In accordance with pro-Kremlin army professional Alexander Khramchikhin, the reconquered territory is “microscopic” and doesn’t permit Ukrainian forces to deploy army tools.
“With out tools, no offensive, solely losses,” he summarises.
Moscow, nonetheless, changed the commander of the Russian “Dnieper” army group working within the space on the finish of October, as a result of troublesome scenario on the bottom, in response to analysts.
French army professional Michel Goya advised AFP the Ukrainian operation is “pretty restricted, pretty symbolic”, nevertheless it “permits small victories to be declared after the failure of the primary offensive.”
Kyiv wants heavy tools – and bridges
To transform its success into a serious breakthrough, the Ukrainian military should handle to deploy its military on the opposite aspect of the river. This could contain crossing a big pure barrier after which manoeuvring in a marshy space in the course of the wet season.
Kyiv’s first goal is to “minimize Russian provide routes. To do that, they’re always increasing their bridgehead, they don’t seem to be solely in Krynky, they’re shifting,” in response to Russian journalist Michael Nacke. He emphasised that Russia “doesn’t have probably the most skilled items on this area.”
The Ukrainian operation “maintains strain on the Russians, who’re pressured to shift a part of their reserves to the Dnieper, to the detriment of different sectors of the entrance”, added French analyst Goya.
Taking deeper positions within the south might additionally permit Kyiv to launch a bigger assault in the direction of the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014. However to realize this specialists estimate that hundreds of males and autos are wanted.
“Bridges over the Dnieper are vital [for such military movement], however any pontoon can be susceptible to Russia’s air and land firepower which has not been utterly suppressed,” stated Mykola Bielieskov, a Ukrainian army analyst.
He additionally pointed to the danger of Russian drones, which might be laborious to counter.
Solely bridges permit “heavy tools and logistics to move. If we wish to advance a number of tens of kilometres in depth, we should additionally advance our artillery in any other case we discover ourselves minimize off from all help,” defined Goya.
“The Ukrainians who crossed are soldiers and naval commandos. They’ve a couple of autos however total stay very mild. They’re primarily protected by their artillery which stays on the opposite aspect of the river,” he added.
A number of army sources be aware that Krynky is deemed “secondary” by the Russians who’re concentrating their army forces on Avdivka, an industrial metropolis within the east that Moscow’s military is attempting to encircle.