Espreso. Global

Is Ukrainian troops’ focus on Krynky problematic? 

18 December, 2023 Monday
12:47

There has been a recurring perspective questioning the significance of ongoing events on the left bank of the Kherson region near Krynky, suggesting that the efforts and resources allocated may not be justified

Political and military observer Oleksandr Kovalenko explained the feasibility of Ukrainian Armed Forces applying major resources in this direction.

Over the past three weeks, the number of Russian troops has increased in the area 

According to the observer, until recently, Russia’s Dnepr troop group on the left bank of the Kherson region was considered one of the least combat-ready, second only to the Crimean Defense Group. However, it swiftly increased its potential, primarily through a significant numerical boost.

For instance, in September, the Dnepr Group had around 60,000 personnel, and today it stands at over 72,000, with a major increase of more than 4,000 in the last three weeks.

As of now, the Dnepr Group comprises:

  • Personnel: Over 72,000;
  • Tanks: 400;
  • Armored Personnel Carriers: 900;
  • Barrel Artillery: 500;
  • MLRS: About 100.

This augmentation wasn't a result of Russian troops’ personnel and equipment budding and division but rather stemmed from the strategic redeployment of units from the Zaporizhzhia and Crimean Defense units.

“It adheres to the principle of ‘some arrived, some left,’" Kovalenko explains. This might explain why Ukrainian forces managed to maintain positions west of Robotyne and near Verbove. The recent weeks have showcased numerous videos in open sources depicting the highly effective operations of Ukrainian drones against Russian equipment in the Krynky area. Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers are continuously being destroyed. While the drones' impact is visible to all, the role of artillery, contributing to annihilation of Russian troops, goes unnoticed by many.

For instance, the forest south of Krynky has become a significant battleground, particularly for the units of the 810th Separate Marine Brigade and the 104th Airborne Division, especially the 328th Airborne Division. It's a rare occurrence when marines and airborne troops suffer heavy losses simultaneously.

Russian troops suffer losses

A force with over 72,000 personnel and an extensive array of resources is experiencing significant losses, evident from radio intercepts and objective control. Struggling against smaller company-level units on the right bank, supported only by artillery and drones, raises questions about the group's effectiveness. Simultaneously, the group's command is urgently increasing its numbers, at the expense of other military units, underscoring their inability to handle the situation effectively.

Examining the practicality of the situation, the left bank of the Kherson region appears strategically advantageous due to the absence of a major river obstructing retreat. However, logistical constraints exist, with limited fully operational arteries and highways concentrated close to the coast.

For instance, Oleshky, a town in the Kherson region close to Krynky, depends on P57 and E97, and severing either would isolate Oleshky. The key artery 2206, leading along the left bank to Nova Kakhovka and Melitopol, is crucial. Presently, Russian troops lack control over the first-line road Pishchanivka-Kozachi Laheri-Krynky-Korsunka-Nova Kakhovka. Moving Russian equipment along the 2206 section south of Kozachi Laheri and Krynky is perilous, marked by the presence of military vehicles.

Developments on Kherson's left bank unfold slowly

Understanding the expediency of these actions and the objectives of Ukrainian troops is clear. The Dnepr Group's command is cognizant of this, but despite their numerical and overall resource superiority, they struggle to impede this process.

The observer states that the developments on the left bank unfold slowly and cannot be rushed. When they culminate, analysis and speculation on the primary line for the retreating Russian troops will be all that remains.

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