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Ukrainian Armed Forces have bridgehead on left bank of Kherson region - It is expanding

Ukrainian Armed Forces have bridgehead on left bank of Kherson region - It is expanding Ukrainian military conducts limited operations on the left bank of the Kherson region (Photo: Getty Images)

For several days now, Western analysts have been writing about another landing of Ukrainian paratroopers on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the occupied part of the Kherson region and the expansion of the bridgehead. However, officially, this information is not confirmed.
In the comment to RBC-Ukraine, military expert and former spokesperson of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Vladyslav Seleznov, explains why this story has become a "Polichinelle's secret" and discusses the situation in Avdiivka (Donetsk region).

Regarding the operations of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the left bank of the Dnipro in the occupied part of the Kherson region, despite the statements of official figures, it is already an "open secret" and widely known. Indeed, they are operating in the area of the Antonivskyi automobile bridge. Moreover, our army holds the area up to the Upper Konka River. The enemy cannot do anything with this bridgehead, which is expanding.

Will it become the groundwork for soon establishing a pontoon bridge to transfer many personnel, armored vehicles, artillery systems, and ammunition? Perhaps it's not worth talking about it, as the width of the Dnipro here is about a thousand meters, and there are specific difficulties with setting up a crossing of such scale. Moreover, it needs to be protected from enemy artillery and aviation. Therefore, I think the work of our marines is aimed at forcing the enemy to divert resources to this area from other directions.

Bahmut Déjà Vu in Avdiivka

Why did the Russians start storming the fortifications in Avdiivka now? First, about a month ago, Ukrainian forces took control of part of the village of Opytne. Still, they were forced to withdraw after massive artillery strikes, but the attack scared the occupiers.

Beyond Opytne are fields leading to the Spartak neighborhood and Donetsk airport, which are suburbs of Donetsk itself. In such a situation, the enemy was nervous and felt a real threat to the Gauleiter's power. They want to capture Avdiivka to push our forces away from Donetsk.

The second reason is a political task from Vladimir Putin, who spoke of the complete occupation of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as one of the goals of the war against Ukraine. 95% of the Luhansk region is occupied, but things are not going well for them in Donetsk. The enemy intends to use all resources to implement the plan, capture Avdiivka, move westward, and take control of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. I think the deadlines are outlined—Putin's presidential elections will take place in March 2024. By that time, he needs some kind of victory.

The third reason is pragmatic. The occupiers pressed on the Krasnohorivka, Vodiane, and Opytne areas, achieved some success, and continued to develop it to encircle Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka

Moreover, they are still following the same patterns as in the case of Bahmut. Then, during "meat attacks," they eventually managed to capture the city. The disposition of forces and means is similar to the Bakhmut scenario.

Can Ukraine lose Avdiivka? To draw such conclusions, you need to understand the resources of the Ukrainian army, and this information is not available in open sources. However, the situation is threatening with a tendency to become critical. The key logistic route is under enemy fire control. They closely approached the railway and probably took a foothold near the Avdiivka coke plant. They still cannot deploy artillery systems to shell the city center, but the enemy is creating many problems for us.

The enemy is advancing with crazy losses. What will happen next? It depends on the resources. If they are not sufficient, the army may withdraw to the west. We will only know the answer to this question after the fact.