As Kyiv and Moscow redeploy forces and find new objectives subsequent the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s (AFU) liberation of the town of Kherson previous week, a hydroelectric dam and the cities all around it are presently a new concentration for combating and, probably, the scene of a surprise AFU crossing of the Dnipro River.
The principal road and rail website link throughout the Dnipro within Kherson town was blown up by Russian Federation (RF) navy engineers, who on Friday, Nov. 11 employed det rates to fall multiple spans of the Soviet-era Antonovsky bridge into the 700-meter extensive river. The controlled explosions took spot early in the early morning immediately after the past 1000’s of retreating RF troops finished a total withdrawal from defensive positions on the northern, correct bank of the river.
But Nova Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station’s causeway, some 50 km to the north-east, and upstream of Kherson, endured comparatively very little injury. Russian demolition teams there blew up three bridge spans in close proximity to the proper-financial institution village of Vesele but normally remaining the rest of the bridge, and all of the reinforced concrete and packed earth causeway on either aspect, correctly intact.
Photographs revealed by the U.S. satellite imagery organization Maxis on Nov. 11 confirmed a 45-meter gap which, on Nov. 16, a British Defence Intelligence update explained created the dam impassible to all targeted traffic. The nearest highway and rail website link about the Dnipro nevertheless standing is in Zaporizhzhia, some 180 km. additional upstream.
For an offensively-minded AFU on the lookout to transfer south and push its assault in opposition to retreating RF forces, officers in the southern sector told Kyiv Write-up that the Nova Kakhovka causeway has possibly grow to be the most crucial terrain, proper now, along the overall fighting front in Ukraine. The AFU is well-equipped with assault bridges and design engineers, they mentioned, so if the Ukrainian military ended up to get manage of the rapid vicinity, and press the Russians out, the hole could be spanned in hours.
The AFU has slapped a blanket ban on news studies from the location, citing a require to shield the security of ongoing operations. A Nov. 15 assertion from the AFU’s Joint Forces South (JFS) verified strikes ended up in development and that the AFU’s key targets at current are the destruction of RF troops and ammunition depots. There was no mention of river crossings or ground combating close to Nova Kakhovka.
The RF-supporting CGTN television channel described Nova Kakhovka is “the new epicenter” of the front and that shelling is continuous, though the Moscow state-operate RIA Novosti agency, on the morning of Nov. 15, released illustrations or photos of a masked soldier informing that Nova Kakhovka is absolutely quiet, energy materials are steady, and that shops are open. This was contradicted by the area news aggregator Nova Kakhovka Town, which documented two precision AFU strikes in a forest near the city, destroying two RF ammunition bases.
In accordance to social media accounts from nearby inhabitants, modest numbers of Russian troops remained in Nova Kakhovka right after the bridge was blown up, but it did not feel like they were being preparing to remain. The blogger #novakakhovka_ua reported RF conscripts were hunting for civilian automobiles to escape, that the town was generally empty of RF troops, and that shellfire was continual.
Multiple images appeared in Ukrainian social media on Nov. 16 of Nova Kakhovka city corridor and a Russian flag purportedly torn down from the building’s flag pole, as effectively as unconfirmed accounts of AFU reconnaissance troops on the outskirts of the metropolis. Some posters speculated Ukrainian troops were not just patrolling but had taken handle of the two finishes of the causeway, and that RF forces in the vicinity had been retreating. There was no formal affirmation of this.
Anatoliy Shariy, a pro-Russia blogger with a claimed 1.8 million followers likewise predicted in a Nov. 15 Telegram submit a gradual but unstoppable Ukrainian navy press throughout the Dnipro River to seize the crossing and liberate important towns to the South: “We (RF citizens) know the custom. If they (the AFU) never just take it with a fight nowadays, they’ll get it without a battle tomorrow…The fate of these places is sealed. Kakhovka, Nova Kakhovka, in the other way Berdyansk (the UAF edge) is quite impressive and quickly, Melitopol.”
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