Several reports claimed that Ukrainian troops have crossed onto the Russian-occupied left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro river as the war-torn nation continues its counter-offensive seeking to sever Moscow’s land corridor to the annexed Crimean Peninsula. A report by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Thursday listed Pishchanivka village in the southern Kherson region, 3 km east of the river, as being shelled by Russia, the BBC reported. However, it did not provide details on whether there were any Ukrainian troops in or near the village. Just hours earlier, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that Ukrainian troops had advanced up to 4 km east of the river.
The ISW quoted Russian sources as claiming that “likely company-sized elements of two Ukrainian naval infantry brigades conducted an assault across the Dnipro River onto the east bank” on Tuesday and Wednesday. “Geolocated footage published on 18 October (Wednesday) indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced north of Pishchanivka (14 km east of Kherson City and 3 km from the Dnipro River) and into (the village of) Poyma (11 km east of Kherson City and 4 km from the Dnipro river),” the BBC quoted the Institute as saying. Also on Thursday, Russian military blogger WarGonzo claimed that Ukrainian units fighting on the eastern bank of Ukraine’s main river had been previously trained in the UK. Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Ministry appeared to have confirmed Ukrainian operations in the area. In its report on Wednesday evening, it said Russian troops had “suppressed the activity” of four Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups in Poyma and the nearby village of Pidstepne.