Ukrainian infantry raiding across the Dnipro River, near the southern city of Kherson, was locked in firefights on Monday with elements of at least two Russian conventional brigades. Pro-Moscow spokesmen said the bridgehead would soon be crushed, whereas Kyiv officials claimed the diversion tactic had exposed previously hidden Kremlin artillery to counterstrikes.

Small boat teams from Ukraine’s elite 73rd Marine Special Operations unit were, according to Russian sources, being pressed into a shrinking perimeter around the south end of the demolished Antonivsky bridge, a span across the Dnipro destroyed by retreating Russian troops in November.

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Ukrainian military spokesmen have confirmed special operations troops operating on the left bank of the Dnipro River since at least May, among them the 73rd, Kyiv’s premier small boat commando unit.

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Russian military information platforms claimed Kremlin troops backed by tanks and artillery were systematically clearing out Ukrainian infantry on the “Russian” side of the river over the weekend, and some sources asserted the Ukrainian force was completely destroyed by Sunday.

Pro-Russian blogger Yury Podolyaka in a Sunday situation estimate said: “Communications with this region is, unfortunately, not stable, but based on what guys that are there have told me, the enemy is regrouping, and it’s not clear whether it’s evacuating this bridgehead totally, but our guys are pressing them… and right now I don’t have any hard information about what’s going on.”

Ukraine on the Defensive as Russia War Enters Third Year
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Ukraine on the Defensive as Russia War Enters Third Year

As the war in Ukraine reached its three-year mark, Ukrainians stand defiant as the country is now on the defensive with looming concerns waiting to be addressed by its government and Western partners.

Russia’s 127th Brigade was leading the attack on Ukrainian forces, he claimed. Other pro-Moscow information platforms said a Russian marine infantry unit, backed by tanks and artillery, was also participating in the counteroffensive. The British Intelligence Update on July 1 said defending Russian forces in the area included elements of the 7th Guards Air Assault Division.

Russian media on Thursday reported two powerful weapons not normally employed by Kremlin forces against light raiding infantry teams – TOS flame thrower rocket launchers and massive Iskander surface-to-surface missiles – had pounded the Ukrainian “bridgehead.” Russian air strikes also were reported, but some Russian military information platforms complained the Russian air force bombs and missiles had missed.

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The terrain around the south end of the destroyed Antonivsky bridge is swampy, heavily wooded, and thick with summer cottages, orchards and gardens. Ukrainian light infantry from the 73rd and possibly other units intensified raids across the Dnipro to the sector in May against weak Russian opposition.

By late June, a 5- to10-kilometer-wide belt of the left, formerly Russian-held Dnipro River bank in the vicinity appeared almost fully under Ukrainian control, with Russian boat patrols hitting ambushes and, according to civilian social media, Ukrainian small boat teams moving freely back and forth across the river.

On Saturday Russia’s Defense Ministry, without offering evidence, claimed all Ukrainian forces in the vicinity of the Antonivsky Bridge “had been totally destroyed.” Ukraine Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat confirmed the Iskandar had been fired, but Russian claims the strike destroyed Ukrainian troops in the vicinity were overblown.

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Natalia Humeniuk, senior spokesperson for Ukraine’s Joint Forces South, in a Saturday statement, said that “serious battles are in progress” on the left bank of the Dnipro opposite Kherson, and that Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) long-range, counter-battery artillery was taking advantage of Russian attempts to clear the “bridgehead,” by hitting shorter-ranged Russian howitzers and cannons brought to the battle.

Russian artillery losses in recent weeks have been at a wartime high averaging around 25 to 30 systems lost per day, with even higher peaks registered during the kick-off of Ukraine’s summer offensive on June 6-10, and over the weekend on July 1-2, Icelandic military data analyst Ragnar Gudmundsson reported in open-source findings.

Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) in its July 3 morning situation estimate made no direct reference to fighting along the Dnipro River floodplain beyond stating that Ukrainian reconnaissance had observed Russian attempts to regain lost ground in the Kherson sector.

The AGS July 3 estimate of Russian equipment destroyed over the previous 24 hours claimed Kremlin artillery losses were continuing apace with 32 Russian howitzer or mortar systems, and four rocket systems put out of commission or captured by AFU units.

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Comments (4)

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Jose Corazon
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If ever there is F16, it should be use here

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I support
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This war isn't going to be won without airsuppot or long range missiles. Putin is not going to stop so we need to stop him. He is a danger to the world and must be defeated period.

Brad Alex Littlepage
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@I support,

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Freddie
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Air support now stop them and liberate the Ukraine. Slava Ukraine!

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GregC
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The courage, strength shown by Ukrainian troops has been amazing to see. But no one should have been surprised this same strength and determination was clearly shown during Maidan...by originardy citizens....
Ukraine has woken up the world to the evil of Russia... the depth of destruction and atrocities that Russians will go to... Again no one should have been surprised by this evil, Russia has been a source of such evil for centuries.

It is far past the time to give Ukraine all the weapons they need to win, and win quickly, kick these Russians out of Ukraine and let us all pray the Federation breaks up and Russia itself collapses completely, there is no room for evil to prevail.

Russia the fascist Nazi nation of our times.

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