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The Kremlin admits the presence of Ukrainian forces on the Russian-controlled bank of the Dnieper

For the first time, Russia recognizes a Ukrainian incursion on the occupied bank of the Dnieper, in the Kherson region. The information is confirmed by the Ukrainian army. On November 16, a new bombing on Kherson left one person dead.

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From our special correspondent in Mykolayev,

The Russians themselves admit it: the Ukrainians have a foothold on this occupied bank of the Dnieper, about 35 kilometers from the city of Kherson, in Khrynky to be exact. This was confirmed on the Ukrainian side by Natalia Houmeniouk, spokesperson for the Southern Command of the Ukrainian army, who declared that it is an active combat zone for several kilometers.

Read alsoNo reaction from the Kremlin around the presence of Ukrainian “pockets” on the occupied bank of the Dnieper

This is not the first Ukrainian incursion on this side. Since February, there has been an increase in these incursions, an intensification even since the summer, since August 2023. But never before has there been confirmation from the Russian side. The difficulty for the Ukrainians will be to manage to get enough men and equipment across the bank occupied by Russia to finally break through this line of defense. And if this happens, to be able to interrupt the Russian fire which is launched from the opposite bank on, in particular, the liberated city of Kherson. It is indeed very difficult for the Ukrainian army to advance both under Russian artillery fire and without having the air advantage that the Russians have. This is therefore news to be taken with caution.

Kherson, liberated a year ago, but still bombed

The city center was targeted on Wednesday November 15. Civilian infrastructure is affected and damaged. Libraries were destroyed during the week. There are deaths almost every day, in Kherson city and also in the region. Every day, civilians are injured. On Tuesday, a two-month-old baby and his mother were hit by a Russian drive-by strike.

And Kherson is not isolated: the other regions of the front line are also affected, like Mykolayev. Yesterday, Wednesday, November 15, a double strike hit the Zaporizhia region. Firefighters were hit while helping victims of a first strike. Two of them died, three were injured as well as four civilians. Hitting rescue teams, especially when they are on duty, goes against international law. Firefighters are not considered combatants, so they should be able to provide assistance without risking their lives.

Ukraine, November 15, 2023: Ukrainian troops camouflaged in the Zaporizhia region, on the front line.
Ukraine, November 15, 2023: Ukrainian troops camouflaged in the Zaporizhia region, on the front line. REUTERS – STRINGER

The front delimited by the Dnieper River

In Snihurivka, between Mykolayev and Kherson, the inhabitants were very affected by the Russian occupation until last November, then by the destruction in June of the Kakhovka dam and the floods that followed. The small town of Snihurivka is devastated, there are many buildings that have been bombed, there are also tags on the walls denouncing the collaborators, gates riddled with bullets, which remind us that the fighting did take place.

At the landscape level, we can see the damage, the environmental disaster, the agricultural disaster that was the explosion of the dam in June. The residents were directly affected, their homes became uninhabitable. They also bear witness to very frequent bombings even today. Even if they no longer live under occupation, the war is still part of their daily life.

Read alsoUkraine: one year after the liberation of Kherson, civilians still under Russian bombing

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