ISW: while AFU advances, occupants panic because of the situation on the left bank of Kherson region
Panic continues in the Russian information space over the larger-than-usual ground operations of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on the left bank of the Kherson region. The occupiers note that the Ukrainians maintain a limited presence in some areas near the Dnipro River coastline and the Antonivka railway bridge.
At the same time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine advanced to the west of the Zaporizhzhia region and south of Bakhmut over the past day as they continued counteroffensive operations. This is stated in the report of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Ukrainian Armed Forces operations on the left bank of the Kherson region
On October 19, a well-known Russian blogger, who initiated a discussion among his countrymen about Ukrainian assaults on the left bank of the Kherson region, said that two sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the Ukrainian Marine Corps crossed the Dnipro River, defeated Russian troops in the area, and gained a foothold in the village of Krynky (30 km east of Kherson and about 2 km inland from the Dnipro River coastline).
He claimed that Russian infantry counterattacked and pushed Ukrainian forces back to the outskirts of the village, but acknowledged that the Ukrainian Armed Forces still controlled some houses in Krynky and were waiting for reinforcements in the area.
Another propagandist added that Ukraine used more manpower in the Krynky attacks than in previous ones. Several Russian sources, including Kherson regional governor Vladimir Saldo, claimed that the Russian army "managed to push back" Ukrainians from the villages of Poima, Pishchanivka, and Pidstepne (15 km east of Kherson) to the Dnipro riverbank and to positions near the Antonivka railway bridge. The Russians expressed their belief that Ukrainian forces would try to rest and regroup there under constant Russian air and artillery strikes.
Amid this panic in the Russian information space, ISW analysts emphasized that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces "tacitly recognized" Ukrainian operations on the left bank of the temporarily occupied Kherson region.
"On October 19, General Staff said Russian aviation struck Pishchanivka, implying that Ukrainian forces were operating in the village. At the same time, Russian sources continue to offer somewhat conflicting claims about the extent of Ukrainian attacks on the left bank," ISW noted.
They added that they continue to assess the current Ukrainian actions as more extensive than the tactical raids observed earlier. Experts say that geolocation footage indicates that the Ukrainian Armed Forces maintain a presence along the coastline and near the Antonivka railway bridge despite the occupiers' counterattacks.
Advancement of the Armed Forces at the front
On October 19, the Ukrainian Defense Forces succeeded near Klishchiivka (7 km southwest of Bakhmut), Andriivka (10 km) and Kurdiumivka (13 km), and advanced to the Russian defense line in the direction of Opytne (3 km south of Bakhmut).
Earlier, Captain Ilia Yevlash, a spokesman for Ukraine's Eastern Military Group, said that the defenders had advanced across the railroad tracks in unspecified areas south of the fortress city.
For their part, Russian sources said that on October 18, the Ukrainian Armed Forces crossed the railroad tracks in Klishchiivka.
In parallel, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other Ukrainian military sources reported that the Defense Forces achieved success south of Robotyne and southwest of Verbove in the Zaporizhzhia direction.
Ukrainian military observer Konstiantyn Mashovets said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to push the occupiers back from their positions near Verbove and advanced 1.5-1.6 km deep into the enemy's defenses in an undefined area of the front near Robotyne.
As reported by OBOZ.UA, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi visited the front line in Avdiivka. He talked to the commands of the units defending this area and showed what was happening in the city under attack by Russian troops.