Russia says it is thwarting further Ukrainian attempts to cross the Dnipro River
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Tuesday that marines, aviation and artillery had thwarted further Ukrainian attempts to gain a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River and on islands downstream in southern Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, setting off a major European ground war and the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West since the depths of the Cold War.
Ukraine said this month that its forces had crossed the Dnipro River and established several crossing points on the eastern banks of the river, although Russia said it was bombing Ukrainian positions.
The Russian Defense Ministry said, “Marines of the Black Sea Fleet thwarted all attempts by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to carry out amphibious landing operations on the Dnipro Islands and the left bank of the Dnipro River.”
The Russian Defense Ministry published a video that it said showed marines from the 810th Marine Infantry Brigade of the Revolutionary Guard defeating Ukrainian forces. The video shows soldiers firing a variety of weapons, although the outcome of the fighting is not clear.
It said that Ukrainian forces suffered heavy losses and lost equipment in failed attempts to land on islands in the Dnipro River. Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield accounts from either side.
It remains unclear how significant the Ukrainian attempt to gain a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River is. Crossing the Dnipro leaves Ukrainian units exposed between the river and swamps on one side and the heavily fortified Russian lines on the other.
Along with the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, Russia now controls 17.5% of internationally recognized Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed to achieve any significant gains this year against Russian forces.
According to unverified reports by pro-Russian bloggers, Russia attacked Ukrainian forces near the village of Krynki, near the swamps on the east bank of the Kherson River, from which Russia withdrew its forces in the fall of 2022.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Ed Osmond)