The operation on the opposite bank a few miles from the Ukrainian-held regional capital of Kherson is proving costly and hard going. Soldiers involved in the fight say they are under heavy fire. Russian drones constantly circle over their hastily dug trenches, coordinating artillery strikes each time they detect movement. As darkness falls, the Ukrainian troops use shovels to dig themselves deeper into the ground.
“We need to be realistic about what can be achieved here,” said Franz-Stefan Gady, an independent military analyst who recently toured the front lines in Ukraine. “The terrain is extremely difficult, making it not only a challenge to steadily resupply forces but also generate the necessary momentum to conduct sustained offensive operations.”
One private in Ukraine’s 38th Marine Brigade who crossed to the eastern bank at the start of November said his unit had advanced 100 yards in the six days he was there before he was evacuated for treatment of a concussion.
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