Ukrainian troops have established a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson Oblast, according to a Ukrainian official.
“Against all odds, Ukraine’s defense forces have gained a foothold on the left bank,” Andriy Yermak, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, said during a speech to a Washington think tank on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
Ukraine had been attempting to push Russia from the strategically significant eastern bank of the river, which has served as a natural barrier, preventing Ukraine from advancing farther into the Kherson region towards the Russian-annexed Crimea.
The river also allowed Russia to concentrate troops in other heavily fortified and mined regions of eastern Ukraine, such as Zaporizhzhia.
Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed governor of occupied Kherson, confirmed that Ukrainian troops gained a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River but are acting in small groups and taking heavy losses.
“Our additional forces have now been brought in. The enemy is trapped in [the settlement of] Krynky and a fiery hell has been arranged for him: bombs, rockets, heavy flamethrower systems, artillery shells and drones,” Saldo said.
Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, described the front line as “fairly fluid” with Ukrainian troops pressuring Russian troops along the river.
Russia previously controlled areas on the western side of the river, including the city of Kherson, but left those positions last year.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been seen as moving somewhat slowly, though an advancement on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River could prove significant for Kyiv’s efforts, by forcing Russia to spread its troops thinner along the front line.
Some information in this report was taken from the Associated Press and Reuters.