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Another breakthrough by the Ukrainian army The northern part of Ukraine’s Kherson region has been cleared of the Russian forces
In its second major breakthrough this week, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated the village of Davydiv Brid, which stands over the Inhulets River in the Kherson Region. For months, this has been the Russian forces’ main stronghold in that area, and it took two months of determined fighting to make them finally retreat. On October 4, the Russian military blogger Igor Strelkov (a.k.a. Girkin) reported that Russian formations were leaving their positions “to avoid incipient encirclement.” They also cleared out of the larger villages nearby. According to Semyon Pegov, the founder of WarGonzo (a pro-Russian media project), the Ukrainian army “made a major breakthrough” and “established full control” over the road on the left bank of Inhulets River.
During the war, fact-checking new tactical information takes time. This article represents our best current knowledge of the situation at the front.
During the day on October 4, servicemen of the 35 brigade of the AFU Marines recorded a video, in which they planted a Ukrainian flag in Davydiv Brid. Operational Command South of Ukraine’s Ground Forces states that, in addition to Davydiv Brid, seven other settlements have been liberated, including Lyubimivka, Bilyaivka, Ukrainka, Velyka Oleksandrivka and Mala Oleksandrivka, Khreshchenivka, and Zolota Balka. The last two settlements on this list were liberated early this month.
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, this list is “far from complete.” Dozens of locations, he said, were liberated “just this week” — in the Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions. The Ukrainian army continues its “fairly swift and powerful” progress in the south of Ukraine.
The Russian army has completely cleared out of the northern Kherson region. Ukrainian troops may have entered Dudchany, a settlement over the Dnieper, having stood by Dudchany since October 2, when they made a breakthrough from the edge of the Dnipro region into the inner Kherson area. It remains unclear who might, in fact, control Dudchany at the moment. Yury Kotenok, a pro-Kremlin war blogger, reported in the evening on October 4 that the Russian forces had withdrawn from part of the settlement, exploded a bridge on the road connecting Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, and finally secured new positions in the southern part of Dudchany. Another pro-Russian commentator, Roman Saponkov, stationed in the Kherson region, said that the AFU had taken Dudchany and the Russian units had left. As late as October 5, pro-Kremlin Telegram channels were still denying this.
By a rough estimate, the Russian troops have recently withdrawn from about a third or a quarter of their bridgehead on the western bank of the Dnieper. Rybar, another “patriotic” Russian telegram channel, writes that the Russian army’s defense now runs along the line connecting Kostromka (14 kilometers, or 8.7 miles, from Davydiv Brid) and Mylovoye (18 kilometers, or 11 miles, from Dudchany). The AFU’s next targets may be Beryslav and Nova Kakhovka.
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The deputy head of the Russian-occupied part of the Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, told RIA Novosti that the Russian forces are regrouping for a reciprocal strike. Yury Kotenok, quoted earlier in this article, writes, too, that the Russian formations are “retreating in an organized fashion,” and cannot be described as “running.” According to Kotenok, the front line has been “shortened” deliberately, to save “strength.”
Alexander Kots, a correspondent for the pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda, thinks that various segments of the front line are feeling the “exhaustion following a long period of advancement, when large territories were liberated.” “But there’s no strength left to keep hold of them,” he concluded.
The Russian Defense Ministry stated in its October 5 digest that “as a result of massive strikes” by the Russian aviation, 120 AFU servicemen, two tanks and eight armored vehicles had been “destroyed” by Davydiv Brid and Dudchany. It stated also that “30 nationalists, two tanks and four armored ground vehicles” had been “destroyed in 24 hours” near Nova Kamianka in the Kherson region.
A day earlier, in its October 4 briefing, the Russian Defense Ministry presented a map of combat operations in the Kherson region. The media outlet Agentstvo then highlighted the fact that, on that map, the territory under Russian control spread, roughly, up to the line connecting Davydiv Brid and Dudchany. The ministry’s briefing the day before had featured another combat map, with the front line passing near Davydiv Brid, Dobryanka, and Zolota Balka. As pointed out by Agentstvo, it followed from comparing the two maps that the Russian army had retreated 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) southward in a single day.
The Defense Ministry also presented a map of the Kharkiv region, where Russian control spread over a small territory north-west of the village of Dvorichna. Earlier, the ministry had stated that the Russian forces were in control of the entire territory east of the river Oskil.
Agentstvo writes, too, that in one week — with its retreats from Lyman and the eastern Kharkiv and northern Kherson regions — Russia lost control of more than 4,000 square kilometers (or roughly 1,500 square miles).
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