Ukrainian marines on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine (Konstiantyn Liberov/Vlada Liberova)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1136 GMT:
A Ukraine mountain assault brigade says it killed 25 Russian troops in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
The brigade said it struck a building in the village of Kumachovo as the Russians were celebrating the Day of Missile Forces on Sunday.
The independent Russian outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe said Russian director and actress Polina Menshikh, who had come to perform for the troops, was among those killed by the US-made HIMARS rocket.
UPDATE 0922 GMT:
Two civilians have been wounded in four Russian artillery attacks on Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region in south-central Ukraine.
Governor Serhiy Lysak posted on Telegram, “Two men aged 61 and 37 were wounded in the city center and eight private houses, vehicles, and a gas pipeline were damaged.” Power lines were destroyed, leaving more than 1,200 families without electricity.
UPDATE 0721 GMT:
The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed all 14 Iran-made attack drones launched by Russia in an attack between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.
No casualties or major damage have been reported.
UPDATE 0633 GMT:
Journalist Alexander Chizhenok has been fired as a professor at St. Petersburg State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Chizhenok’s offense was a video made by his students about support across the campus for Svetlana Drugoveiko-Dolzhanskaya, another professor who was fired in October.
Drugoveiko-Dolzhanskaya had criticized colleagues who prepared a “linguistic analysis” for the prosecution of Aleksandra Skochilenko, a St. Petersburg artist arrested in April 2022 for replacing supermarket price tags with anti-war stickers.
Drugoveiko-Dolzhanskaya was an expert witness for the defense in Skochilenko’s trial. The artist was condemned to seven years in prison last week.
UPDATE 0602 GMT:
Ukrainian pilots are training on F-16 fighter jets in Denmark, according to Ukraine Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat.
Ihnat said pilots are working in a group to carry out tasks set by an instructor. The next stages are solo flights and then combat-use flights.
Training is also being conducted in the US and the UK.
Two weeks ago, the Netherlands has delivered the first five F-16 fighter jets to a new Romanian training center en route to use in Ukraine.
Denmark, Norway and Belgium have also pledged F-16s to Kyiv.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia’s Defense Minister has failed to ease the concerns of military observers about the Ukrainian advance east of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine.
Addressing the Russian Defense Ministry’s Collegium on Tuesday, Sergey Shoygu insisted that Russian forces had thwarted all Ukrainian attempts to conduct successful amphibious operations in the Kherson region. He declared that Moscow’s troops are inflicting “colossal” losses on Kyiv’s soldiers.
But Russian “milbloggers” continued to highlight Ukraine’s establishment of a foothold on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River, across from Ukrainian-held Kherson city.
One wrote on Tuesday that an entire Russian assault group had been killed near Krynky, 2 km (1.25 miles) from the Dnipro and 30 km (19 miles) northeast of Kherson city. The claim echoed the report of a Russian “insider source” last Friday that a Ukrainian strike killed 76 Russian personnel who were conducting a “distraction maneuver” on the east bank.
Another observer said in a video, circulating on Thursday, that the Russian military is forcing personnel who are still recovering from wounds to conduct assaults. He assessed that there are three Ukrainian drones for each Russian soldier operating in the Krynky area.
And yet another milblogger published a letter, purportedly from a Russian soldier operating near Krynky, that Moscow’s troops lack reconnaissance drones and fire support. Artillery and mortar units are quickly changed locations after firing “a few shots” to evade counter-battery fire.
The soldier wrote that his unit has practically no interaction with others nearby, with Russian command headquarters in the region devising unsuccessful plans on the basis of incorrect and delayed information.
Ukrainian forces liberated all territory on the west bank of the Dnipro, including Kherson city, last November. They first crossed the river in July, despite Russia’s flooding of the area with the demolition of the Nova Kakhovka Dam a month earlier.
A bridgehead was established in August. In recent weeks, the Ukrainians have established positions 3 to 8 km from the river bank, according to Kyiv’s military.
Russian officials are recurrently proclaiming that their defenses are decimating the attackers. However, Col. Janno Märk of the Estonian Defense Forces said on Monday that Russia has suffered 3,500 casualties, with the Ukrainian offensive advancing 2 to 3 km beyond the left bank in a 30-kilometer area.
The Estonian officer said Ukrainian losses are also high, but are significantly lower than those of Russia: “And that has already forced the Russian command to redirect units from other fronts to this area.”