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The Kremlin refused to comment on Monday on reports that the Ukrainian army crossed the occupied left bank of the Dnipro River and strengthened its positions, which would be a significant breakthrough for Kiev. (Archive photo)
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Ukraine has claimed Friday the conquest of positions on the bank of the Dnipro occupied by the Russians, in the south of the country, a first success with a view to more important operations after months of a disappointing counter-offensive for Kiev. /p>
Ukrainian forces carried out a series of successful actions on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the southern Kherson region, the naval infantry command said on Facebook.
Ukrainian naval troops, in cooperation with other units of the defense forces, managed to gain a foothold on several bridgeheads in this area, their command, reporting heavy losses among the enemy.
Violent fighting continues in this area where Russian forces are trying to dislodge the Ukrainians, the Ukrainian army general staff said on social media. Ukrainian units managed to drive the Russians from their positions on the left bank of the river, the general staff said, reporting a fairly large line of fortifications and strong enemy resistance. .
The Ukrainian army is also carrying out sabotage, raid and reconnaissance operations on the occupied bank, he added. This could enable a larger assault towards the south. But for this, Ukraine must succeed in deploying a large number of men, vehicles and equipment in a difficult to access, sandy and marshy area.
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The objective of these operations is to push the enemy as far as possible from the river in order to x27;prevent shelling of the city of Kherson and other localities on the right bank, controlled by Kiev forces.
This is the first success claimed by the Ukrainians for their counter-offensive since the recapture of the village of Robotyné in August, in the southern region of Zaporizhia.
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Ukrainian soldiers raised a flag of Ukraine on a building in Robotyne, August 23, 2023. (File photo)
Kiev hoped that this reconquest would allow it to break through the Russian lines and liberate the occupied zones, but the Ukrainian army did not succeed, faced with the firepower of the Russian defenses.
Until now, the head of the presidential administration, Andriï Iermak, had only indicated on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had established a foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro, without further details.
Ukraine is keeping secret the scale of current operations, its successes and its losses. The Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry refuse to comment on the subject.
On the other hand, on Wednesday, the leader of the occupied part of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, admitted that several dozen or hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers had managed to anchor positions on the left bank of the Dnipro, in particular around the village of Krynky.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Vladimir Saldo, the Moscow-appointed leader of Ukraine's Kherson region, last April.
He downplayed the importance of this advance, saying that Russian reinforcements had been deployed and that Ukrainian forces were under fire.
In this area of southern Ukraine, the Dnipro has served as a front line since the Russian army withdrew from the right-bank city of Kherson in November 2022. /p>
Russia continues to shell the city and its region on a daily basis. Regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported Thursday that a woman had been killed in the night. Two other women, injured the day before in Russian strikes, died in hospital from their wounds, according to the same source.
While for a year the front has been more or less frozen, it is essential to gain ground for Kiev, which wants to avoid the effect of weariness among its Western allies towards a conflict which has lasted for almost two years, at a time when the eyes of the international community are turned towards Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The war between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a slowdown in shell deliveries to Ukraine, noted Thursday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a small group of media, including AFP: our supplies have diminished.
And German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius warned this week that the European Union will not be able to deliver a million munitions to Ukraine before the spring, as it plans to do. was engaged.
Ukraine is extremely dependent on the arms and ammunition that the Americans and Europeans deliver to it, and the question of ;a reduction in economic and military support is mentioned in certain countries.
The Kremlin, for its part, claims to have reoriented the economy towards the production of arms and ammunition and to have recruited some 400,000 additional soldiers since the start of the year.
Another concern for Kiev, Russian forces are on the offensive in several other sectors, their main efforts aimed, despite significant losses, at encircling and conquering Avdiïvka , industrial city in the east.
In addition, with autumn setting in and winter approaching, Ukraine fears a new Russian bombing campaign to destroy its energy infrastructure and plunge the population into darkness and cold.
The Ukrainian Air Force said on Friday that it had shot down nine of the ten Shahed explosive drones launched by Russia towards the center and south of the country overnight.