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Ukrainian troops advance on Kherson Oblast's left bank and deploy reinforcements – ISW

Thursday, 30 November 2023, 05:23
Ukrainian troops advance on Kherson Oblast's left bank and deploy reinforcements – ISW

Ukrainian forces continued ground attacks on the left bank of Kherson Oblast and advanced on 29 November.

Source: the Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

Details: Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces advanced southwest of Krynky (30 km northeast of the city of Kherson and 2 km from the Dnipro River) and gained ground in the nearby forest area.


Russian military bloggers claimed that fighting is ongoing near Krynky, and Russian aircraft and artillery are striking this area.

The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian troops are holding positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.

Russian military bloggers claimed that Ukrainian troops continued to deploy new assault groups to the left bank and that 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were operating near Krynky.

Russia's constant reports about the arrival of Ukrainian reinforcements on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River indicate that Russian troops are trying to impede Ukraine's attempts to supply and strengthen its positions on the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast.

Additionally, military analysts stated Russia's apparent inability to create a cohesive command structure among the forces defending on the eastern (left) bank of Kherson Oblast. Russia's morale and combat capabilities continue to deteriorate there. On 29 November, the General Staff of Ukraine announced that units of the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade (Black Sea Fleet), operating near Krynky (30 km northeast of Kherson and 2 km from the Dnipro River), refused to conduct an assault on Ukrainian positions due to a lack of weapons, coordination of artillery, intelligence data and information on the location of Russian minefields.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported that maps of Russian minefields were classified and that Russian commanders did not properly coordinate with assault units the location of these minefields, resulting in 50 casualties among units of the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade over the past month.

Units of the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade arrived in the Krynky area in early October 2023 and appear to have taken over responsibility for the area from the 18th Combined Arms Army (CAA) following the start of Ukrainian ground operations on the east bank of the Dnipro River in mid-October 2023. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the CAA’s 28th Motorised Rifle Regiment currently operates in Pishchanivka (14 km east of Kherson and 3 km from the Dnipro).

Additional units from the 18th CAA and 7th Airborne Division are reported to be holding positions in the near-rear areas on the eastern bank, and the combined command of these formations is likely to oversee Russia's response to Ukrainian ground operations in the east.

The reported minefield incident suggests that the command of the 18th CAA did not share relevant tactical details with the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade’s command, suggesting that higher-level Russian commanders responsible for the defence of the east bank have yet to remedy this failure in coordination.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 29 November:

  • The apparent Russian failure to establish a cohesive command structure among forces defending on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast continues to degrade Russian morale and combat capabilities.
  • The Russian "Dnepr" Grouping of Forces is increasingly comprised of disparate elements of recently transferred and degraded units and new formations, which may be contributing to this apparent lack of cohesive command structure.
  • Russian authorities plan to extend criminal liability for crimes against the law on military service to participants in volunteer formations, a measure that would impact many irregular military formations and personnel on which the Russian military relies for manpower in Ukraine.
  • Russian officials proposed laws that would restrict the actions of foreign citizens in Russia, likely to support continued efforts to coerce migrants into Russian military service.
  • The NATO-Ukraine Council (NUC) met at the foreign minister level for the first time on 29 November and discussed steps to increase weapons and ammunition production.
  • Poland is reportedly considering sending military advisors to Finland in response to Russia's ongoing attempts to artificially create a migrant crisis on the Finnish-Russian border as part of a known Russian hybrid warfare tactic meant to destabilise NATO and the EU.
  • The Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) formally announced Russia’s termination of a nuclear reduction pact with Japan on 28 November.
  • Russia's efforts to generate combat power via recruitment from Central Asian countries may become a source of tension in Russia's relationship with its Central Asian neighbours.
  • Adam Kadyrov, younger son of Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov, will reportedly "oversee" the newly formed "Sheikh Mansur" volunteer battalion in a new unspecified position, possibly further indicating Ramzan Kadyrov’s desire for Adam to succeed him as head of Chechnya.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast but did not make any confirmed advances.
  • Russian Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Head and Duma Deputy Leonid Slutsky proposed a bill on 28 November that would grant war correspondents "combat veteran" status and associated social support benefits.
  • Russian authorities continue efforts to erase Ukrainian culture and identity in occupied Ukraine.

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