Russia admits Ukrainian breakthrough into occupied Kherson but warns 'fiery hell' awaits

Crossing of Dnipro River could open up new line for Kyiv to attack Crimea

Dnipro river Ukraine soldiers
A Ukrainian member of the 123rd Territorial Defense Brigade stands guard next to the Dnipro River
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ukrainian forces that have crossed to the occupied left-bank of Kherson's Dnipro River will be met with "bombs, rockets, heavy flamethrower systems, artillery shells and drones", Russia has warned.

Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed governor of the part of the region under Moscow's control, admitted that the crucial crossing had been made. But "our additional forces have now been brought in", he claimed, and "the enemy" is trapped in the settlement of Krynky, where "a fiery hell has been arranged for him".

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said the incursion showed that Kyiv's counteroffensive was working. “Against all odds, Ukraine’s defence forces have gained a foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro,” Yermak said in an address that was posted on the Ukrainian president's website

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Ukraine knows “how to achieve victory”, Yermak added.

A Ukrainian breakthrough across the Dnipro, said The Independent, "could open up a new line to attack Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014".

Military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko told the RBK Ukraine news agency that the growing area of contested control on the eastern bank of the Dnipro river "significantly reduces the mobility and capability of the Russian occupiers".

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Ukrainian marines were reinforcing positions in three villages on the left, or east, bank of the river. If these forces amass sufficient units and armoured vehicles there, said the paper, "they could seek to advance into territory where Russian defenses are less extensive than those further east that blunted the main thrust of Ukraine’s counteroffensive".

However, the troops were also said to be “hunkered down in basements and trenches and heavily outnumbered”.

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