Ukrainian lawmaker on difficulties in establishing bridgehead across Dnipro – interview

Ukrainian military in the south of Ukraine
Ukrainian military in the south of Ukraine

Roman Kostenko, Secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence, during a Radio NV broadcast shared his insights on the complex problem of getting Ukrainian forces across the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.

Kostenko emphasized that river crossings are exceptionally challenging. He recounted how, for several months, he had witnessed the Inhulets River in Kherson Oblast, with a width of up to 25 meters and a maximum depth of two meters, being crossed.

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“These were comprehensive operations involving bridge construction, damming, personnel and equipment movement. The bridges constructed there had a lifespan of no more than 40 minutes, and we’re talking about a 25-meter width.”

“The Dnipro River is 300 meters wide at its narrowest point (in the Kherson area), and that’s the smallest. We understand how complex the situation is,” the lawmaker said.

He also mentioned that after crossing the Inhulets, Ukrainian forces encountered “vast areas where you could maneuver your equipment.”

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Nevertheless, the left bank of the Dnipro presents significant challenges, he said.

“Primarily, if we don’t even consider the islands, there are areas along the river, such as Dachi, where it becomes swampy. There’s water everywhere, and you can’t even walk there because everything is submerged.”

“This is where the left bank begins, stretching for several kilometers,” the MP said.

Natalia Humeniuk, the spokesperson for the southern defense forces, reported ongoing combat operations on the left bank of Kherson Oblast on Oct. 23. Ukrainian defense forces continue to repel Russian occupiers, employing counter-battery warfare.

“The enemy’s forces, which have been amassed, have been there for a long time. They have the ability to maneuver and continue hiding behind the civilian population. That’s why the combat operations will be prolonged,” she said.

A day earlier, in response to the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) data regarding a possible landing of fighters on the left bank of Kherson, Humeniuk stated, “It’s premature to speak assertively about this because these are analysts’ conclusions.”

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Previously, the ISW reported that certain units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces crossed the Dnipro on October 17-18 into the occupied part of Kherson Oblast near the villages of the Oleshkivska community.

At the time, it was suggested that, judging by the reactions of Russian “war correspondents,” this operation could be more significant than previous similar raids by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

ISW also reported Ukrainian advances towards the village of Krynky on Oct. 20.

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