• Ukraine’s Armed Forces started a new phase of offensive operations in Kherson Oblast on 2 October 2022.
  • Advancing south, Ukrainian units have pushed the front line forwards by up to an additional 20km, primarily making gains along the east bank of the Inhulets and west bank of the Dnipro, but not yet threatening the main Russian defensive positions.
  • Russian forces have typically broken contact and withdrawn. Russian commanders are likely to see the growing threat to the Nova Kakhovka sector as one of their most pressing concerns.
  • The damaged river crossing over the Dnipro in this area remains one of the few routes available for them to resupply forces.
  • Russia faces a dilemma: withdrawal of combat forces across the Dnipro makes defence of the rest of Kherson Oblast more tenable; but the political imperative will be to remain and defend.
  • Russia has committed the majority of its severely undermanned airborne forces, the VDV, to the defence of Kherson.
  • Therefore, Russia currently has few additional, high quality rapidly deployable forces available to stabilise the front: it likely aims to deploy mobilised reservists to the sector.
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