“Ukraine exploits Russia’s ‘thin’ defences in Kherson counter-offensive”

“According to claims from both Russian and Ukrainian sources, the 1000-metre crossing over the Dnipro River, which Russia relies on to resupply the front line, was no longer suitable for crossing with even light vehicles.

Western analysts said Ukrainian troops were seeking to secure a clear advantage in logistics by preventing Russia from resupplying across the Dnipro River.

Yuriy Sobolevskyi, the deputy head of Kherson’s regional council, said Ukrainian troops had enjoyed successes in Kherson, Beryslav, and Kakhovka districts, but refused to elaborate.

“Now is the time to support our armed forces… Now is not the time to talk about the specific successes of our lads,” he said.

In its daily intelligence update, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said Ukraine’s armed forces have continued their assault on several axes against Russian-held positions in an operation to retake Kherson.

“Ukrainian formations have pushed the front line back some distance in places, exploiting relatively thinly held Russian defences,” the MoD added on Wednesday, in what was the first Western acknowledgement of success in the operation.

“In line with its doctrine, Russia will likely now attempt to plug the gaps in its line using pre-designated mobile reserve units. These will likely include some of those from the Eastern Grouping of Forces.”

For the reinforcement, British defence officials said Russia’s 3rd Army Corps, its first new large-scale formation since the war began, was still being pulled together from volunteers with “limited training”.

Rybar, a widely read pro-Kremlin military Telegram channel, backed claims that Ukraine had made inroads into Russian-held territory in the Kherson Region.

The group said Ukrainian had managed to break through at the village of Kostromka, north-east of Kherson, and had begun attacking towards the Nova Kakhovka-Davydiv Brid road, on the eastern banks of the Inhulets River.

After Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, urged enemy troops to “run away” if they wanted to live, Kyiv on Wednesday proposed a special scheme for Russians seeking to surrender.”

Comment: Will Russian troops fight effectively in what may soon be called the Kherson Pocket? We will see. pl


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32 Responses to “Ukraine exploits Russia’s ‘thin’ defences in Kherson counter-offensive”

  1. Christian Chuba says:

    IF Russia loses Kherson it would be a big loss.

    If Russia has any logistics and fighting capability, they should be able to brush this off because Zelensky and CNN have been talking about this for weeks on end. If Kherson changes hands, I will join the ‘Russia is losing’ crowd.

    The outcome of this battle will finally tell me the true state of this war (a selfish concern)

    • Pat Lang says:


      “If Russia has any logistics and fighting capability, they should be able to brush this off.” they do not .

    • Mark Logan says:


      I believe so too. Losing the water to Crimea (again) is likely viewed as unacceptable by Putin so there’s a good chance he’s “all in” there, a location at the end of their longest and most vulnerable LOC. As good as it gets.

    • borko says:

      Christian Chuba

      Russia lost the moment they launched this war. Takeover of Crimea was understandable, this is on the other hand is butchery.
      It is a move born of arrogance, desperation and weakness.

      I saw a video the other day of some people in Kazakhstan confronting Russians sporting a Z sign.
      The Kazakh guy said : “First you come to my country with a Z, and then you will come with tanks.”

      There are probably many in other Russian “friendly” countries thinking the same.

      This kind of thing can tear a country apart. The more energy they put into it the more dangerous the blowback can be.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      His Nibs just “sidelined” Shoigu the other day. A comment on Strelov’s bboard says much of what one can benefit from learning about sentiment in their armed forces. It’s also the most virtuoso, mordantly brilliant and epigrammatic terse bullet through the skull insult I’ve ever encountered. (the first sentence. the rest is included too).

      Read the anatomy section: ” which tissues are not amenable to plastic surgery ” and open your eyes. Fortunately , the shape of the skull in a mature person is NOT amenable to plastic surgery. And now, armed with knowledge: examine “Vladimir Putin” from the beginning to the present day.

      I shame myself too by appearing to jest during ongoing error and tragedy. My excuse – the reality is intolerable.

    • sszorin says:

      It was clear on the third day of the war that Russia will lose this war.

  2. blue peacock says:

    When looking at the map in this post, it appears the focus is on the southwest?? Is there a military reason why? And looking at the axes of attack what does it say about the Ukranian strategy? How would we know what is success and failure for both parties?

    • Pat Lang says:

      Geopolitics and strategy are two faces of the same coin. The idea seems to be isolate and destroy Russian forces west of the Dnieper River and re-capture Kherson.

      • Worth Pointing Out says:

        Doubtful. I suspect that the idea is to spook the Russian General Staff into deploying the 3rd Army Corp to the Kherson region, and then launch a much bigger offensive against Izyium.

    • TTG says:

      blue peacock,

      My guess is that the Ukrainians are staying flexible and alert enough to take advantage of success where ever it arises. I think they are hoping to push out of the Davydiv Brid bridgehead and drive towards Nova Kakhovka splitting the Russians in two. Attacks around the Kryvyi Rih end of the front are to fix the Russian units in that sector in place.

      Offensive actions in the southwest are obviously going for Kherson itself. There is a video from within Kherson with sustained small arms fire, including heavy machine guns in broad daylight. My guess here is that the partisans and SOF are kicking their game up a notch. Russian defensive lines appear to be more in depth in this sector so I would think the Ukrainians would take their time to exhaust Russian logistics through artillery and missile strikes before seriously assaulting those defensive lines.

      I doubt success or failure will be apparent for several weeks. But unless the Russians find a way to open up cross river supply lines, I doubt the Russians in Kherson will hold out past those few weeks.

      • Klapper says:

        I think success or failure will be apparent in a matter of days, not weeks. And I think it will be failure.

        The tactics employed in the alleged failed operation this morning to capture the nuclear power plant at Enerhodar seem like a Hail Mary pass attempt. If the initial story turns out to be true, the Ukranians are not planning rational military objectives, but are being driven by politcal ultimatums from the top.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          The bNe intellinews guy, a professional with sources there, said 2 weeks yesterday morning or the night before. I think you have a very good point, but their actions vis a vis the power plant worry me greatly that our leader Pal Joey may be the incestuous offspring of Pa God with Ma Gog.

          Does “Dubious” follow “Dubya,” Obambambamma and Trumpensteeley?

          • Fourth and Long says:

            Another error caused by .. Pa Gog, not Pa God. “d” inverted is non cursive “g” so I plead the drift.

        • blue peacock says:

          ‘The fact that we have not taken Kherson yet does not mean that the operation in the south has stalled or failed.’

          Arestovych added: ‘It is carried out in a planned manner. We destroy enemy logistics, air defence systems, fuel and ammunition depots.’ He cautioned Ukrainians to be patient, saying: ‘There will be no quick wins.’

          Arestovych also said that the Ukrainian armed forces had hit key bridges to isolate Russian forces on the right bank of the Dnieper River.

          The Kakhovsky and Daryiv bridges, which had been used by Russia to transport equipment and ammunition to the region, have now been ‘disabled’, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.

          I suppose you know more than those actually doing the fighting.

          • Klapper says:

            Blue Peacock:

            My example was (if true) meant to show the Ukrainians are throwing some long long pass attempts. Why do you think that is?

            Or maybe you don’t believe the Russian claims on this assault. That works both ways. I don’t believe half of what is claimed by either side in this war. I watch the maps evolve, knowing that the watchers with geolocation skills will keep the claims honest, at least in the long run.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Klapper there may well be a reason for Zelinskyy to take military risk (when is an offensive not?) in order to “show” a victory. It is not for personal aggrandizement. Can you imagine what might drive Zelinskyy to do this?

          • Klapper says:

            Bill Roche:

            My guess is that Zelinsky doesn’t want nuclear inspectors stationed at the power plant. If it was back under the control of Ukraine, he could argue that the good guys were back in charge and so no need for inspectors. As it is, if the Ukrainians are in fact shelling the plant (which I think they are), the inspectors might report that, and being independent referees if they did, then that information would have a lot more credibility in the west than any claims the Russians might make.

      • Fred says:


        “several weeks” Does that mean the end of November or something sooner? That’s a long time and the way they are going through ammo they will have a bigger problem before then. Also, as I have asked before, how are all those civilians being fed, or did that population get removed from the ‘pocket’?

    • sszorin says:

      The idea is to break the mass of Russian occupiers into isolated bands that can not support each other and act as one army group.
      The group on the south end of the front is now isolated and has no way out – to the west and north is unoccupied Ukraine, the eastern flank of land connecting to Kherson city is on the verge of being controlled by the Ukrainian soldiers.
      The only ‘free’ corridor through which the Russians can escape is the sea behind their backs. They can swim back to Russia and drown on the way there or they can surrender.
      The northern part of the front near Davidiv Brid is also on the verge of being cut off from the main body of the Russian units on the western bank of the river Dnieper. It looks like all Russian units with around 25 000 soldiers on the western bank are now doomed.

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    Someone here recently compared Kherson to the battle for Stalingrad. I think the comparison is apt and not just from a geographical standpoint. Stalingrad was the turning point in the Great Patriotic War. Losing the bridgehead west of the river would be a heavy blow to Russian morale & the Kremlin’s credibility and a fatal blow to Russia’s strategic aim of creating a landlocked Ukrainian rump state. It seems hard to overestimate the importance of this counteroffensive for both sides.

    Strelkov’s references to Shoigu as the Plywood Marshall are of course meant to evoke the Potemkin ‘villages’ hastily erected for Catherine the Great’s eighteenth century voyage down the Dnieper to inspect her new territories (which included Kherson). Losing it again would be careless indeed. But for me that prospect and the name Potemkin also brings to mind another famous episode in Russian history, one which took place off this same coast in June 1905 and one which I think the Plywood Marshall and his boss would do well to remember.


    • Fourth and Long says:

      Egads. Thanks for the reference. They’re not at the point of “borscht made with rotten meat infested with maggots” yet, but sans supply the fate of those soldiers is a dismal prospect.

    • Bill Roche says:

      BA; tnx for the history lesson. Honestly I d/n know the meaning of Potemkin villages nor the reference to the Russian cruiser Potemkin. Interesting stuff. I’d like to rtn to the question of the Kherson “thrust”. Many comments herein about political grandstanding by Zelinskyy (who else) to get after Kherson NOW. Ok, there are always some who have to make Zelinskyy the bad guy – maybe?? But for me, the reports of a major RM buildup in Crimea remain troublesome. Whatever are the Russians going to do w/all that stuff? I opined they are going straight up the gut through Kherson and up to “Kirograd” (sorry for the misspelling). There is a big road leading right out of Crimea and straight north to Kiev. What if the UM decided that would be curtains for them if the RM could move through Kherson. What to do? Better close that opening down NOW! Kherson needs to be retaken to prevent it serving as a step off from Crimea to Kirograd. There are several ex military “pros” on this blog. They still haven’t responded to the question; what’s Russia going to do w/all that stuff in Crimea and does it have anything to do w/UM advance on Kherson now. Thoughts?

      • TTG says:

        Bill Roche,

        Russian reinforcements moving into Crimea are most likely meant to keep control of Crimea at the very least. Beyond that, I’m sure they also want to keep control of Kherson as well as Nova Kakhovka with the Crimean Canal starting there. Without that canal, Crimea is in the shit once again.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Breaking news is the UM tried to seize the nuke plant by cover of the Inspectorgators.

  4. Eliot says:

    Col. Lang,

    While the Ukrainian forces most likely have numerical superiority, I believe they will be destroyed, due to Russian air supremacy, and the Russians overwhelming advantage in artillery.

    – Eliot

  5. scott s. says:

    It seems to me the inability of Russia to make any use of the Black Sea is a major issue for them.

    • Bill Roche says:

      IMO, entirely w/o military chops, the RM needs to land at Odessa and pincer east towards the Dnieper. The Black Sea, and Odessa are in Russia’s backyard but they can’t to pull such an opn off. Why?? Logistics rule. You can’t fight if you cant get there. No point in getting there if you dont have a secure supply line. If things go bad, can you get out? Logistics, logistics (I know, not a sentence). Is it true that in the year 2022 the Russian army remains a huge land based infantry force, just as it always was?

      • TTG says:

        Bill Roche,

        The Black Sea Fleet no longer wants to get anywhere near Odesa for fear of joining the Moskva.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Tnx for the reply
          The Moskva, who’d want to be like her? She was done in b/c Ukraine controlled enough Black Sea coast line to get after her. As long as Ukraine can get to the sea the Russian fleet can’t get close range. My reading says the RBS Fleet wasn’t much in the first place but w/o it no amphibious assault on Odessa is possible. To move north, Russia must come out of Crimea. Action
          on the Ukrainian Black Sea coast will be different in nature if the UKM can push the Russians clean out of Kherson and set up a block against a Russian land movement to Odessa. The UM can’t wait for perfect alignment of forces. It needs food, money, and ammo but can’t count on western Europe.

  6. Sam says:

    The chairman of Russian oil and gas giant Lukoil — which spoke out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — has died after falling out of a hospital window, state news agencies RIA Novosti and TASS reported Thursday….


    Hmmm….many prominent Russians falling out of windows.

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