The three-mile-long Kinburn Spit, a finger of sand and vegetation that winds across the Dnipro River estuary west of Kherson, the southern port city that Ukrainian forces previously liberated from their Russian occupiers last month, has been infiltrated by Ukrainian commandos, it has been confirmed. The commandos are traveling in small boats.
The Ukrainians would be able to surround the Russian defensive lines that are being built on their side of the Dnipro River by taking control of the Spit and the nearby Kinburn Peninsula. The Kinburn operation might be the opening salvo of a larger Ukrainian onslaught aimed against Russian forces on the Dnieper’s left bank.
Other advantages exist. Whoever holds sway over the Kinburn Spit also holds sway over the mouth of the Dnipro and has the power to decide who commands ships to sail from Kherson and neighboring Mykolaiv to the Black Sea.
There were reasons to think that the Ukrainian military would take a break and regroup after liberating Kherson and its 300,000 inhabitants prior to the fighting on November 11. Kherson’s campaign was difficult. Before the armored and infantry brigades launched their assault in late August, Ukrainian artillery shelled Russian supply lines in and around the city for several months.
The majority of Kherson Oblast is made up of vast, open countryside that is intersected by rivers, streams, and canals. Tank and other vehicle crews must move in the open, right in front of artillery scouts and gun pilots, which is an awful terrain for them. The precise number of Ukrainians killed during the liberation of Kherson’s northern region and its city is unknown. perhaps thousands.
In Kherson Oblast, the Russian military is
severely harmed. Only somewhat less harm may be done to the local Ukrainian army. But the Ukrainians promptly swung to the right, launched a minor amphibious operation, and landed special forces on the Kinburn Spit rather than takinga a well-earned break on the right bank of the Dnipro on the southern suburbs of the city of Kherson.
Three days after Cherson was freed, on November 14, there were already reports of a Ukrainian landing. Videos of Ukrainian troops dashing across what seemed to be the Dnipro’s mouth in rigid-hull inflatable boats have been circulating online.