Day 627: Nov 13
Today, there are a lot of updates from the Kherson region.
Here, the most intense clashes took place in and around Krynky, which is the only settlement on the eastern bank of the river where Ukrainians managed to not only hold a bridgehead for such an extended period of time, but also continuously expand it.
After Ukrainians withstood a series of Russian ground attacks and even ambushed and completely eliminated one such Russian assault unit, Ukrainians assumed a more aggressive stance and started expanding outwards. Geolocated footage shows that Ukrainian forces made marginal advances further into Krynky, as confirmed by the Institute for the Study of War.
Moreover, Russian sources admitted that Russian forces tried and failed to push Ukrainian forces from Krynky and that Ukrainian forces are conducting offensive operations.
Instead of trying to push Ukrainians out of the eastern bank, Russians gradually switched into defense mode and tried to stop the Ukrainian movement, especially toward Kozachi Laheri.
Russian analysts assessed the situation and claimed that Ukrainians are focusing on this particular direction in order to prepare the ground for later moving into the forest. As you can see, the Ukrainian bridgehead is located right in front of it. The main idea behind expanding control over Krynky first is to cut or at least diminish supplies to the Russian forces that are holding the forest. And after undermining the Russian defense in the forest and taking control over it, Ukrainians will have very convenient positions for hiding forces concentrations and can entrench even more.
Recently, Russian sources started posting a lot of videos of how they are using heavy thermobaric artillery systems to target Ukrainian forces in Krynky. Even though Russian sources cheered the use of more devastating weaponry, these videos confirmed that the Ukrainian bridgehead increased a lot, and that there are no Russians anywhere in the main part of Krynky because Russians do not use TOS-1 to hit areas in proximity to Russian forces.
The goal of these strikes was to prevent Ukrainians from moving into the forest. Since Ukrainians already secured their flanks, it was obvious that the attack on the forest is inevitable. Unfortunately for Russians, heavy shelling did not prevent Ukrainians from penetrating Russians deeper.
Today, Russian sources reported that Ukrainians took control of multiple Russian strong points in the forest and established a foothold. Some sources also mentioned that Ukrainians created a lot of observation posts along the contact line, which reduces the chances of Russians conducting a successful counterattack, especially given that these observation posts are just cameras.
Moreover, Ukrainians also continued identifying and destroying Russian electronic warfare systems in the area to ensure that Ukrainian drones can operate as freely as possible.
Ukrainian Armed Forces used the HIMARS to destroy Russia's rare electronic warfare piece, the RB-636 Svet-KU system, in Kherson Oblast. The Svet-KU can intercept radio signals and determine the signal source.
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) November 13, 2023
Today, Ukrainian sources released several videos showing how Ukrainian forces are crossing the river and reinforcing the units on the eastern bank for further offensive actions. Russian sources started raising the alarm that these units were going to leverage the newly created foothold in the forest and move further south.
One of the Ukrainian soldiers in the video also mentioned that in one session they supplied the eastern bank with enough food and ammunition to hold for one week. And this was obviously not the only session – Ukrainians are constantly replenishing supplies early in the morning under the cover of fog when Russian drone operators struggle to conduct reconnaissance.
Russian sources also reported that Ukrainians deployed additional detachments for operation on the eastern bank, meaning that as the bridgehead grows, the number of troops fighting in the sector increases proportionately. A Ukrainian analyst reported that Russian forces have committed relatively few units to defend the river bank, which does not allow them to respond to Ukrainian operations adequately. He concluded that Russians decided to conserve combat power in favor of other directions, such as Zaporizhzhia and Avdiivka. Such a setting is very conducive for conducting ground attacks in the forest and further developing the offensive operation of the Dnipro River’s eastern bank.
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.
On 14 November, a Ukrainian official confirmed for the first time that Ukraine’s forces have established a bridgehead in Kherson Oblast:
“Against all odds, Ukraine’s Defense Forces have gained a foothold on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro,” Zelenskyy Office’s chief Yermak said in an address to the Hudson Institute think-tank in the United States.