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Frontline report: Ukraine gains bridgehead, reclaims two villages in Kherson Oblast on Dnipro

Through precise strikes and an amphibious assault, Ukraine seizes bridgehead on the Dnipro’s Russian-controlled eastern bank in Kherson Oblast, liberating two villages from Russian occupation.
Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Ukraine gains bridgehead, reclaims two villages in Kherson Oblast on Dnipro

Day 602: 18 October

Today, there is a lot of good news from Kherson Oblast.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Here, Ukrainian forces conducted a series of offensive operations and established a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the river. Previously, the two main areas of clashes were near the Antonivskyi bridge, where Ukrainians had established a robust foothold and started conducting raids on Oleshky, and near Kozachi Laheri, where Ukrainians conducted a prolonged raid on the village and took captive a Russian battalion commander.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Today’s attack was even more potent and resulted in the liberation of 2 villages in one day.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

But, the decisive role in the success of this operation was planning and preparation. First of all, Ukrainians somehow needed to push Russians from the island in front of Prydniprovske. Since Russians stopped attacking the Ukrainian bridgehead under the Antonivskyi Bridge after their disastrous counterattacks, Ukrainians gained more freedom of movement on the islands and started expanding control over the region. The newly gained territories allowed Ukrainians to engage with the Russian forces on the islands and start driving them away from the outer edges. When Ukrainians started conducting raids on Oleshky, Russians became too worried about the stability of this region, which is why the Russian forces on the island started to suffer and gradually rolled back.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Once Ukrainian forces detected that the Russian control over the region was weak, they launched the second phase of the operation – concentrated artillery and drone strikes. Ukrainian fighters have released dozens of geolocated videos of the strikes over the past week, and based on the available information, one of the primary targets of Ukrainian forces became observation posts.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Ukrainian drones hit multiple cameras along the contact line to complicate surveillance and increase the reaction time to Ukrainian attacks.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Moreover, Ukrainians found Russian antennas for radio communication and destroyed them as well, making communication on large distances impossible and fragmenting Russian forces due to the impossibility of cooperation.

Russian communication equipment approached by a Ukrainian FPV kamikaze drone. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Next, Ukrainians targeted the biggest enemy of infantry – enemy artillery. Combat footage from the region revealed that Russians had plenty of short-range howitzers in the region, as well as more powerful multiple-launch rocket systems deeper in the region. Medium- and long-range artillery was destroyed in coordination with HIMARS crews.

The last stage of the preparation for the attack became the destruction of enemy forces concentrations. The videos show that Ukrainians hunted down not only big trucks but also any small vehicles driving along the contact line.

Russian military truck in the crosshairs of a Ukrainian drone. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

A fighter from the 24 Assault Brigade reported that one of the targets became a truck with infantry, and as a result, 24 Russian troops were killed on the spot.

Finally, Ukrainians conducted an amphibious operation, landed on the island, and completely cleared it from Russian troops.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

It seems like due to the communication issues, Russian commanders did not realize it on time and failed to take any measures to protect the eastern bank. Ukrainians crossed the small river between the island and the eastern bank and assaulted two villages at the same time: Pishchanivka and Poima.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

And while Poima is a very small settlement near a train station, Pishchanivka is 1 km by 1.5 km. Later, Russian sources reported that Ukrainians attacked the eastern bank, took two villages, and are holding the foothold.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Russian analysts reported that the destruction of Russian helicopters yesterday in Berdiansk serves as a deterrent to moving aviation closer to the contact line, and with few helicopters nearby, Russians are unable to use aviation amply and aggressively to push Ukrainians out. For now, Russians admit that Ukrainians are holding an all-round defense while Russian forces are in complete disarray.

Meanwhile, Russian analysts also started raising the alarm that Ukrainians are preparing an additional attack from the north. Russian sources claimed that there is an increased concentration of Ukrainian forces a bit to the north and speculated that the next attack might target Krynky or Kozachi Laheri, and if this attack is successful, Russians would probably need to retreat from Pistepne and leave at least 10 km of the front naked.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Moreover, Russian sources reported that Ukrainians have an unusually high number of pontoon bridges and mobile bridge-building machines, fearing that Ukrainians are preparing to conduct a massive offensive. So far, the Russian projections of the Ukrainian offensive seem excessively optimistic, but we will see how things develop here.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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