Russia prepares for defense in occupied parts of Kherson region, Crimea - ISW
Russian troops are conducting defensive preparations in the occupied part of the Kherson region and Crimea amid concerns about a possible future attempt by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to cross the Dnipro River
This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
On October 13, Russian sources, including their defense ministry, said that the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue efforts to strengthen long-term positions on the Dnipro River islands and the left bank of the Kherson region.
“Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets stated that Russian forces are actively equipping forward positions, laying mines, and engineering fortifications on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River,” the Institute notes.
It is also noted that the Russian forces have laid at least three minefields near Kakhovka (65km northeast of Kherson City) and Malokakhovka (61km northeast of Kherson City) and are quickly restoring the Kerch Strait Bridge in order to support Russian military logistics in southern Ukraine in the winter.
Mashovets said that the Russian military command is adjusting its posture in the Kherson and Crimea directions in response to concerns about the possibility of a large-scale Ukrainian crossing of the Dnipro River and the development of Ukrainian offensive operations targeting Crimea.
“The military observer emphasized that the Russian command reinforced the “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces and the Crimean Civil Defense Guards, the main forces defending in this area of the front, with elements of the Russian 70th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (42nd Motorized Rifle Division, 58th Combined Arms Army [CAA], Southern Military District [SMD]) and unspecified Russian units based in Crimea,” the report reads.
Analysts add that the total number of Russian troops defending this area is more than 75,000, including mobilized Ukrainians from the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
In addition, the Russian military command is forming new units in the Crimean direction from the mobilized.
Experts also noted that Russian attempts to attack Avdiivka, Donetsk region, failed yesterday, and that their offensive could turn into "beat on concrete."