KYIV, Ukraine — A top Ukrainian official said its troops have established a beachhead on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River near Kherson, an important advance in bridging one of Russia's most significant strategic barriers in the war.
Andriy Yermak, head of the president's office, provided no details but confirmed the development that has been widely discussed in military forums over the past month.
“Against all odds, Ukraine's defense forces have gained a foothold on the left bank of the Dnieper,” Yermak told the Hudson Institute, a conservative Washington think tank, in a speech Monday.
Ever since Russian forces left the city of Kherson and the territory around it in November 2022, the only area they controlled on the west bank of the Dnieper, the river became a natural dividing line along the southern battlefront, preventing Ukrainian troops from advancing further into the Kherson region and towards Russian-annexed Crimea.
The barrier also allowed Russia to concentrate more troops in the heavily mined and fortified Zaporizhzhia region and eastern Ukraine.
Since the summer, Ukrainian forces have crossed the Dnieper in small groups to create a foothold near the Kherson bridge and more recently sought to expand their presence in nearby villages on the east bank, including Krynky.
The Institute for the Study of War in Washington said Yermak's comments confirm its own assessments over the past month that…