Saturday, 18 November 2023 05:01

What to know after Day 632 of Russia-Ukraine war

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Ukraine secures several bridgeheads into occupied Kherson region - military

Ukrainian troops have pushed Russian soldiers out of positions on the eastern bank of the River Dnipro in the occupied Kherson region and established several bridgeheads, Kyiv's military said on Friday.

Crossing the Dnipro and transporting heavy military equipment and supplies over the river could allow Ukrainian troops to open a new line of attack in the south on the most direct land route to Crimea, which was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.

The Ukrainian Marines said on their Facebook page they had had a series of "successes", established several bridgeheads and conducted other operations on the river's eastern side. Russia conceded for the first time this week that Kyiv's troops had crossed the Dnipro.

"Units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to knock out the Russians from their positions on the left bank of the Dnipro and consolidate there," General Staff spokesperson Andriy Kovalyov said on a military channel on YouTube.

"One of the main goals of this combat work is to push the enemy as far as possible from the right bank to protect the Ukrainian civilian population, in particular Kherson, from constant Russian shelling," he added.

Kherson, once a bustling city of 300,000 that has emptied as it has found itself on the front line, has been pounded by Russian artillery for months and dozens of civilians have been killed.

The Ukrainian military retook the city and the area around it on the western bank of the Dnipro in November 2022. The river, a formidable natural barrier, became the dividing line on much of the southern front.

Russia made no immediate statement in reaction to the Ukrainian reports. Both Russia and Ukraine say they have inflicted heavy losses on the other side during operations in the area. Reuters could not independently verify the reports.


President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday posted images from the area showing the military using drones and operating on speedboats on the Dnipro.

"Our warriors. Thank you for your strength, for moving forward!" he said on Telegram messenger.

Kovalyov said Ukrainian troops were conducting sabotage and reconnaissance actions to discover and disrupt logistics for Russian ammunition and food supplies. He said the Russian military were mounting heavy resistance and had brought in reinforcements.

Very bad weather was another obstacle to Kyiv's operations, Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for the southern military command said.

"We must be aware that in very bad weather conditions, they are complicated. This not only complicates a physical advance but also aerial reconnaissance. Because there is a thunderstorm warning," she said in televised comments.

On the other hand, she added, the weather would not allow Russian troops to use their tactical aviation as much as earlier, something the Ukrainian military was using to "consolidate success".

According to Ukrainian military bloggers, Ukrainian forces crossed the Dnipro in small groups in the summer to create an initial foothold around a railway bridge near Kherson and then sought to expand their presence in nearby villages on the east bank, including Krynky.

The news comes months into Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in the southeast and east that have not produced a major breakthrough. Ukrainian officials have blamed extensive Russian minefields and defensive lines, and delays in supplies of weapons from the West.

Russian forces, which occupy around 17% of Ukraine, are now again on the offensive in the east in the Kyiv-held town of Avdiivka, near the Moscow-held city of Bakhmut, and in other areas.

The Ukrainian military said in its daily update that fighting was raging along the entire frontline from the south to the east, reporting 72 combat clashes in the last 24 hours.

The fiercest battles were around Avdiivka, Mariinka and Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, it said.

Vitalyi Barabash, head of Avdiivka's military administration, said on television that Russian forces were making a big push towards the town's industrial zone near a vast coke plant, and bringing in reinforcements.



Russian forces pummel Ukrainian army’s command centers over week — top brass

Russian forces delivered 24 precision strikes, targeting the Ukrainian army’s command centers over the week of November 11-17 in the special military operation in Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday.

"The Russian Armed Forces delivered 24 multiple-launch strikes by precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles, wiping out forward command posts and deployment sites of the command staff of the Liman battlegroup and the Khortitsa operational/strategic group, and also temporary deployment sites of militants from the Neo-Nazi Azov and Right Sector formations [outlawed in Russia]," the ministry said in a statement.

The strikes obliterated the Ukrainian army’s artillery arsenals, armament, military hardware and fuel depots, airfield infrastructure and a sniper and engineering personnel training center, the ministry reported.

Russian forces eliminate over 745 Ukrainian troops in south Donetsk area over past week

Russian forces inflicted damage on four Ukrainian army brigades in the south Donetsk area, eliminating more than 745 enemy troops over the past week, the ministry reported.

"In the south Donetsk direction, units of the battlegroup East gained more advantageous frontiers and positions and repelled two attacks by assault groups of the Ukrainian army’s 79th air assault brigade and 128th territorial defense brigade in areas near the settlements of Novomikhailovka and Nikolskoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic," the ministry said.

"In addition, air strikes and artillery fire inflicted damage on units of the Ukrainian army’s 72nd mechanized, 58th motorized infantry, 102nd and 127th territorial defense brigades near the settlements of Ugledar, Staromayorskoye and Urozhainoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic," it said.

The Ukrainian army’s losses in the south Donetsk direction over the past week amounted to over 745 personnel, 12 armored combat vehicles, 15 motor vehicles, 20 field artillery guns and a Grad multiple rocket launcher, the ministry specified.

Russian forces destroy over 425 Ukrainian troops in Zaporozhye area over week

Russian forces repelled three Ukrainian army attacks in the Zaporozhye area, destroying more than 425 enemy troops over the past week, the ministry reported.

"In the Zaporozhye direction, units of the Russian battlegroup repelled three enemy attacks near the settlement of Rabotino in the Zaporozhye Region. They also inflicted damage by firepower on the personnel and equipment of the Ukrainian army’s 33rd, 117th and 118th mechanized brigades near the settlements of Uspenovka and Malaya Tokmachka in the Zaporozhye Region," the ministry said.

The Ukrainian army’s losses in the Zaporozhye direction over the past week amounted to more than 425 personnel, 2 tanks, 9 armored combat vehicles, 14 motor vehicles and 7 field artillery guns, the ministry specified.

Kiev loses over 460 troops in Kherson area over past week

The Ukrainian military lost over 460 troops on the right bank of the Dnieper River and in attempts to land on islands on the left bank in the Kherson Region over the past week, the ministry reported.

"In the Kherson direction, the enemy lost over 460 personnel killed and wounded, 2 tanks and 17 motor vehicles on the right bank of the Dnieper River and in attempts to land on islands," the ministry said.

In counter-battery fire, Russian forces destroyed 16 Ukrainian field artillery guns and a Grad multiple rocket launcher in the Kherson direction over the reporting period, it said.

Russian forces wipe out four Ukrainian army radars over past week

Russian forces destroyed four Ukrainian army radars, including three foreign-made systems over the past week, the ministry reported.

"Over the reporting period, operational/tactical aircraft and missile troops of the Russian groupings of forces destroyed a radar station of an S-300 surface-to-air missile system and three counter-battery radars, among them a Cobra station that the Federal Republic of Germany supplied to Ukraine and two US-made AN/TPQ-50 radar stations," the ministry said.

Russian forces down three Ukrainian MiG-29 warplanes over week

Russian forces shot down three Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter jets in aerial and air defense combats over the past week, the ministry reported.

"Three Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29 planes were shot down in aerial and air defense combats," the ministry said.

Over the reporting period, Russian air defense capabilities "shot down 22 rockets of the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, 2 JDAM guided air bombs and 198 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles," the ministry reported.

In all, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 536 Ukrainian warplanes, 254 helicopters, 8,989 unmanned aerial vehicles, 441 surface-to-air missile systems, 13,446 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 1,185 multiple rocket launchers, 7,123 field artillery guns and mortars and 15,342 special military motor vehicles since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, the ministry reported.



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