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Ukrainian forces raid left bank of Dnipro river in Kherson region - ISW

Ukrainian forces raid left bank of Dnipro river in Kherson region - ISW Ukrainian military (GettyImages)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Armed Forces of Ukraine conducted a daring raid on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region, potentially breaching enemy defenses by an impressive 800 meters, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

According to analysts, several Russian military bloggers have reported that Ukrainian forces employed up to seven boats, each ferrying six to seven individuals, to carry out a clandestine landing on the eastern bank of the Dnipro, specifically in the vicinity of Kozachi Laheri. These troops managed to breach enemy defenses, pushing as far as 800 meters inland.

A Russian "war correspondent" has said that the Russian command recently shifted a "prepared group" of Russian airborne troops from the Kozachi Laheri area to the Zaporizhzhia region, replacing them with mobilized fighters of an unspecified unit. This move appears to have temporarily weakened the Russian defense in this sector.

Volodymyr Saldo, the regional governor of Kherson, is suspected by analysts of downplaying the Ukrainian airborne operation, suggesting that Russian artillery fire obstructed the landing.

Nonetheless, the majority of Russian military bloggers have asserted that the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to employ tactical surprise effectively, executing their landing on the eastern bank before the Russians could open fire upon them. It seems likely that Saldo's comments were aimed at deliberately diminishing the Ukrainian gains in this region.

Satellite data from NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) over the past 24 hours reveals notable fire outbreaks near Kozachi Laheri, indicative of active artillery engagement.

Toward the end of the day, Russian "war correspondents" began reporting that Defense Forces had vacated the left bank of the Dnipro. The ISW interprets this as a "limited raid" rather than a full-fledged breakthrough of the defensive line.

Key takeaways:

  • Ukrainian forces appear to have conducted a limited raid across the Dnipro River and landed on the east (left) bank of the Kherson region, although it remains unclear whether Ukrainian troops have established an enduring presence on the east bank.
  • ISW will continue to offer a conservative assessment of the situation on the east bank of the Kherson region until or unless ISW observes visual confirmation of an enduring Ukrainian presence near Kozachi Laheri or other east bank settlements.
  • Talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Communist Party Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi following China’s participation in the peace talks in Saudi Arabia suggest that China is increasingly diverging with Russia on proposed settlements to end the war.
  • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is using the recent coup in Niger and Wagner’s continued presence in Africa to maintain relevance in the Russian information space.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka–Donetsk City line, in the eastern Donetsk-western Zaporizhzhia regions border area, and in the western Donetsk region on August 8 and made advances in certain areas.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least two sectors of the front on August 8 and made advances near Svatove.
  • Russia continues to draw from its stock of Soviet-era equipment to compensate for equipment losses in Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation authorities are preparing for regional elections in occupied areas.