Occupants are afraid of Ukrainian marines on the left bank of Kherson region: ISW explained what is happening. Map
Russia claimed that on October 17-18, company units of two Ukrainian marine infantry brigades stormed across the Dnipro River to the left bank of the Kherson region. The propagandists expressed clear concern over the continued activity of the Ukrainian Defense Forces there and presented it as part of a potentially larger operation.
This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Experts analyzed the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area, but at the same time suggested that it is not a question of creating a large bridgehead for advancement.
The analysts refer to footage published on October 18 that showed Ukrainian forces advancing north of Pishchanivka (14 km east of Kherson and 3 km from the Dnipro River) and to Poyma (11 km east of the city and 4 km from the river).
A prominent Russian blogger claimed that two Ukrainian "assault groups" landed on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River and broke through the initial Russian defenses, temporarily occupying the entire Poima and positions on the northern outskirts of Pishchanivka on the afternoon of October 17.
He later claimed that Russian troops had pushed Ukrainian forces back from these positions toward the Dnipro River. According to him, as of noon on October 18, a "Ukrainian subversive group" continued to operate in Pishchanivka.
The propagandist also suggested that the Russian Armed Forces were holding only positions on the southern outskirts of the settlement. The Russian Ministry of Defense also recognized the Ukrainian Armed Forces' operations, claiming that the occupiers "stopped four Ukrainian subversive groups" near Pidstepne (16 km east of Kherson) and Poima. Another prominent Russian blogger added that Ukrainian troops occupied Poima on the night of October 17-18.
Against this backdrop, Russian sources expressed clear concern about ongoing Ukrainian activity in the Kherson region. They characterized the attacks as an attempt by Ukraine to expand its "bridgehead" on the left bank of the Dnipro River and the initial stages of a larger offensive across the river.
Even Russian dictator Putin called the Ukrainian activity in the Kherson region "another counteroffensive" and continued his typical rhetoric, claiming that all Ukrainian offensives are "unsuccessful."
At the same time, the propagandist, who became the basis for many of the published data on the situation on the border between the temporarily occupied and liberated parts of Kherson region, began expressing concern about the Ukrainian offensive across the Dnipro River in early 2023, and in late September, he strengthened his warnings. It responded to the news of the Ukrainian army's attack on the night of October 17-18 by accusing the Russian Defense Ministry of not taking seriously the threat of Ukrainian forces crossing the border.
ISW analysts suggest that Russia's fears about the ability of Russian troops to repel a possible Ukrainian offensive across the Dnipro may be partly due to the state of the Russian grouping of forces on the left bank. The occupation command has pulled relatively more elite units from the Kherson sector to Zaporizhzhia in recent months, as it likely views Kherson as a quiet sector and the current composition of forces in the area as less combat-ready.
On October 17, Natalia Humeniuk, a representative of the Operational Command "South," stated that the Russian Armed Forces continue to redeploy trained units from Kherson to Zaporizhzhia and the eastern direction. It is possible that the occupiers have recently redeployed units of the 41st Combined Arms Army and the 810th Separate Marine Brigade (Russian Black Sea Fleet) to Kherson region, but it is unclear where they are deployed. Ukrainian counteroffensive operations reportedly resulted in the Russian 810th Marine Corps being incapacitated as of September 22.
The ISW said it does not speculate on the scale and prospects of current Ukrainian activities on the eastern coast of Kherson region, but at the same time does not assess that the Armed Forces have created a bridgehead there that would be suitable for further maneuver of significant mechanized forces at this time.
"It is worth noting, however, that well-known and generally reliable Russian sources discuss Ukrainian activity on the eastern bank of the Kherson River as being more extensive than previously documented tactical raids by Ukrainian forces across the river. ISW will continue to closely monitor the area and assess terrain control and Russian responses in accordance with its ongoing policy of not predicting Ukraine's actions," the analysts stated.
As reported by OBOZ.UA, for their part, the guerrillas of the Atesh movement inform that the occupiers have begun preparing for fighting in the Kherson region. For this purpose, the invaders are moving not only equipment but also command posts.