For nearly a month, Ukrainian Marines have been crossing the border
– Against all odds, the Ukrainian defense has established a foothold on the left (eastern) bank of the Dnieper River, Volodymyr Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Jermak said recently during a visit to the United States.
On Friday at the latest, Ukrainian defenses stated that they had carried out a number of successful operations and established several bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. Now Ukrainian soldiers say this could be absolutely decisive in tipping the scales in Ukraine’s favor.
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The Wall Street Journal spoke with some soldiers with first-hand experience, who told of a difficult and life-threatening operation.
– Every time you go down to the river bank, it’s like playing Russian roulette, says Sergeant Major Yaroslav. The Wall Street Journal.
In order not to be exposed by Russian intelligence, the soldier does not want to give his full name, but Yaroslav loosens the veil that he was in the UK for a month to train specifically on what is happening on the Dnipro River now.
He and a colleague who calls himself Andrej say that in order to cross the river, they had to avoid Russian mines, enemy snipers and “spotters,” drones, and rough terrain, where they had to wade through mud to get out safely. .
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Andrej says his squad moved a total of 100 meters in six days, all without any Ukrainian air support. However, both are quite clear that these processes must continue.
– This is our last chance to achieve a breakthrough, before the war ends in a stalemate. If we do not get any support, these operations may become our swan song, Jaroslav adds The Wall Street Journal.
A Ukrainian military expert believes that a lot can be determined within a short period of time.
– We only have a few weeks to exploit it now, because the Russians were not ready, says Andriy Ryzhgenko to the BBC, Reproduced by Berlingske.
He is a military expert Defense Strategies CenterAnd a former captain in the Ukrainian Navy.
It could change the course of the war
Netavisen previously discussed how Ukraine opened a new front south of the city of Kherson, where soldiers crossed the Dnipro River.
– There have been several reports that Ukraine has transported heavier equipment across the river, the lieutenant colonel and chief instructor of the Land Energy Department at the Swedish Military Academy, Bálje Ydstepó, recently told Netavysen.
The expert says the reports are unconfirmed, but Ukrainian soldiers were reportedly transported on Bradley armored personnel carriers. Other reports said the Ukrainians moved the Norwegian-developed NASAMS air defense system to the bridgehead that troops were allowed to establish on the Russian-occupied side of the Dnipro River.
– It shows a fairly clear intention that they have come to stay, says the Ukrainian writer in Netavysyn and the head of the Norwegian-Ukrainian Society of Friends, Jørn Sund Henriksen, in Ukrainaboden.
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Veteran Finnish military researcher Ilmari Kihkko spoke to Svenska Dagbladet, and he is following developments with a debatable eye.
– This is perhaps the most interesting area of the entire war at the moment, he says To Svenska Dagbladet.
In his interview with the BBC, Ryzgenko said that the most important goal is to control the main road that runs along the river and enters the country. The retired Defense Minister believes this will make it difficult for the Russians to redeploy their forces to areas where they have few reserves. With access to the main road, Ukrainian forces will be able to transport supplies and equipment, not far from the Krim Peninsula at the time of the drive.
– The matter may become decisive for the Russians if they fail to confront the Ukrainian operations. Then the road to Karim is short. So far, Ukrainian forces have succeeded in exploiting the opportunities, without suffering heavy losses. Yedstepo says this would likely force the Russians to redeploy their forces.
Zelensky’s Chief of Staff, Andriy Jermak, also confirmed that Ukrainian forces have so far been working relentlessly towards the Krym Peninsula.
– Step by step, they are demilitarizing the Crimean Peninsula. “We have come 70 percent of the distance, and our counterattack is developing further,” he said during his visit to the United States earlier this week.
Decisive air support
Many experts have previously said that Ukraine cannot win the war without imposing its control over the airspace. Every time Ukraine tried to launch a counterattack, it was met with massive Russian air strikes. Soldiers who successfully crossed the Dnipro River tell the Wall Street Journal they are under constant bombardment. At night, they have to dig deep holes in the ground and go underground.
This is information that President Zelensky is well aware of, and he has repeatedly begged the West for fighter jets.
– They gave me the opportunity to compare our forces with Russia’s in the airspace, the President of Ukraine said at the beginning of November during an interview with the American broadcaster NBC.
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Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands have promised to deliver F-16s to Ukraine, but it is uncertain when Ukrainian pilots will be able to use the fighters.
However, Ukrainian soldiers are quite clear that more Western support is urgent if they want to be able to continue the offensive.
For every one of our soldiers in the region, the Russians have ten. says Private Andrej.
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