In Ukraine, according to the British secret service and the government in Kyiv, Russian troops are threatened with a serious setback on the southern front. According to this, the Ukrainian counter-offensive on the occupied city of Cherson could cut off Russian troops from the bulk of the army.
The Ukrainian troops have very likely set up a bridgehead south of the Inhulets River, which forms the northern border of Kherson, the Ministry of Defense in London said on Twitter on Thursday, citing the secret service. Russia’s 49th Army is on the west bank of the Dnieper and now appears very vulnerable. Cherson is practically cut off from the other occupied territories.
According to the Ukrainian account, Russia is already withdrawing troops from the eastern front in the Donbass to reinforce units in the south. Russia is currently moving forces south on a large scale, said Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich. Russia is switching from attack to defense.
According to the British Defense Ministry, the Ukrainians have managed to damage at least three bridges over the Dnieper with long-range weapons from the west. According to this, the strategically important and one-kilometer-long Antonivsky Bridge near Cherson was hit again and it is very likely that it can no longer be passed.
Russian military officials said the river could be crossed using makeshift bridges or ferries.
The bridges serve Russian troops north of the Dnieper River “as logistical supply routes,” Australian military expert and ex-General Mick Ryan told the Tagesspiegel. They “bring reinforcements” across the bridges – but in the event of a defeat in the battle for Cherson, they also serve as a retreat route.
“What we are seeing at the moment are local attacks by the Ukrainian army on individual Russian units or tactical targets,” said the military expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in a phone call to the Tagesspiegel. But: “For Ukraine, the battle for Cherson could become a turning point in the war against Russia.”