Why is Ukraine's 'breakthrough' in Kherson strategically important?

Published date04 October 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said "there are new liberated settlements in several regions," without going into specifics about Ukraine's military advance

According to Russian reports, Ukrainian forces reached all the way to Dudchany, 40 km from the established front lines before the Ukrainian counteroffensive, and into territories freshly annexed by Russia just last week.

"The information is tense, let's put it that way, because, yes there were indeed breakthroughs," Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed leader in occupied parts of Kherson, told Russian state television, according to Reuters.

"There's a settlement called Dudchany, right along the Dnieper River, and right there, in that region, there was a (Ukrainian) breakthrough," he said.

"There's a settlement called Dudchany, right along the Dnieper River, and right there, in that region, there was a (Ukrainian) breakthrough,"

Vladimir Saldo

The Russian military acknowledged that Ukrainian armed forces had broken through Russian defenses in the Kherson region. It said the Ukrainian army and its "superior tank units" had managed to "wedge into the depth of our defense" around the villages of Zolota Balka and Alexsandrovka.

Russian Ministry of defense spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said Russian troops had occupied what he called a "pre-prepared defensive line". They continued to "inflict massive fire damage" on Ukrainian forces, he claimed.

His comments are an admission that, two months after it began, Ukraine's southern counter-offensive is making dramatic progress. Ukrainian forces achieved their biggest breakthrough in the region since the war started, advancing rapidly along the Dnipro River toward Kherson, the only provincial capital held by Russia.

The Russian military presence on the western bank of the Dnipro River creates a military threat to the Ukrainian cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa, as well as the rest of the country's Black Sea coast.

Ukraine's goal is to push Russian troops to the east bank of the Dnipro in the Kherson region. And for Russia, this will be a significant defeat, according to Assistant Secretary of Defense of the US International Security, Celeste Wallander.

"It further distances Russia's desire to capture Odesa, which it stated as a goal in the theater. And this provides Ukraine with a better defensive position to reduce the intensity of fierce battles during the coming winter," Wallander explained.

Cutting off supply lines

The southern advance is targeting supply...

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