Published On: Thu, Nov 16th, 2023
World | 3,708 views

Vladimir Putin rattled as Russia’s prized Ukrainian conquest in jeopardy | World | News

Vladimir Putin this week has seen one of his most prized conquests in his Ukrainian campaign come under threat because of Ukraine‘s counteroffensive.

Both Ukrainian and Russian officials have confirmed Kyiv’s forces have breached Russia‘s defences and infiltrated the east bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson.

The southern Ukrainian region was among four Moscow annexed to Russia proper through an illegal referendum following the invasion in February 2022. Russia had previously annexed Crimea in 2014.

Kherson has been at the centre of on-and-off fights between the two belligerents, and the Russian Army successfully pushed back on Kyiv’s attempts to break through since the start of the war.

However, Ukraine‘s intelligence claimed Moscow repeatedly withdrew soldiers from the area and only left a skeletal military presence to secure its hold on the territory.

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The Kremlin-installed governor of Kherson claimed on Wednesday that Ukrainian troops have been observed “for some time” in the village of Krynky, just on the eastern side of the Dnipro River.

Vladimir Saldo wrote on Telegram that Ukraine had sent “more manpower than our means of destruction were able to destroy” to the area but claimed the advance was cut short quickly.

He said: “The enemy is blocked in Krynky, a fiery hell is arranged for him: bombs, missiles, ammunition from heavy flamethrower systems, artillery shells, and drones are flying at him.

“They sit in basements and run around one at a time at night. Over the last two or three days alone, the enemy’s total losses amounted to about a hundred militants.”

Saldo alleged Ukraine had been sending its men to “slaughter” and accused Kyiv’s defences do “not value the lives of its personnel.”

But Ukraine refuted the claims and insisted his country had made significant progress past the river and the advancement is a positive signal towards the complete reclaiming of the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukrainian presidential office chief Andriy Yerman told the Hudson Institute: “Against all odds, Ukraine’s Defense Forces have gained a foothold on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro.

“Step by step, they are demilitarizing Crimea. We have covered 70 percent of the distance. And our counteroffensive is developing.”

Since the summer, Ukrainian forces have crossed the river in small groups to create a foothold near the Kherson bridge and more recently sought to expand their presence in nearby villages on the east bank, including Krynky.

Satellite imagery from Monday showed forces advancing on Krynky on the eastern bank about 35 kilometres northeast of Kherson city, the institute said.

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