In a noteworthy development, the Ukrainian army announced on Sunday a substantial pushback of Russian forces “three to eight kilometres” away from the banks of the Dnipro River. This marks a pivotal moment for Kyiv’s forces, representing the first tangible advancement in months amid what had been a disheartening counteroffensive.
Providing insight into the preliminary figures, army spokeswoman Natalia Gumenyuk shared, “The distance covered varies between three to eight kilometres, contingent on specific factors such as geography and landscape design of the left bank.” However, she refrained from confirming whether complete control of the area had been established by Ukraine or if the Russians had strategically retreated.
Despite this positive development, Gumenyuk noted that the enemy continued artillery fire on the right bank, emphasizing that a considerable presence of “several tens of thousands” of Russian troops remained in the vicinity. Acknowledging the challenges ahead, she stated, “We have a lot of work to do.”
The longstanding standoff between Ukrainian and Russian forces on opposite sides of the expansive Dnipro River in the southern Kherson region has persisted for over a year. The withdrawal of Russian troops from the western bank in November of the previous year created a tense stalemate, with Ukrainian forces repeatedly attempting to cross and establish control on the Russian-held side.
The recent success comes after a series of setbacks for Kyiv, as its much-anticipated counteroffensive, launched in June, had seen limited achievements, with the reclaiming of only a few villages in the south and east. The last notable victory reported by Kyiv was the retaking of the village of Robotyne in the southern Zaporizhzhia region in August.
This advance along the Dnipro River, particularly on the left bank, holds strategic significance, potentially paving the way for a more extensive offensive in the southern region. However, such progress may necessitate deploying additional troops and armor in the challenging and hard-to-reach marshy terrain.
As Kyiv’s forces make strides in the ongoing conflict, the recent success along the Dnipro River could mark a turning point, offering hope for further advancements in the days to come.