KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine's marine corps said Friday it has secured multiple bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River in the Kherson region in fighting it described as having left nearly 3,500 Russians killed or wounded and dozens of ammunition depots, tanks, armored vehicles and other weaponry destroyed.
The Marine Infantry Command's claims are the first to come directly from the Ukrainian military about advances across one of Russia's most significant strategic barriers. Earlier this week, Andriy Yermak, head of the president's office, confirmed for the first time that Ukraine had established a foothold on the eastern side of the river.
The wide river is a natural dividing line along the southern battlefront and Moscow's forces have used it since leaving the area around the city of Kherson in November 2022 to prevent Ukrainian troops from advancing further toward Russian-annexed Crimea.
Western officials with knowledge of intelligence, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive information, said Thursday that Ukraine has portions of three brigades across the river and was expected to make small gains as Russians have so far been unable to repel them.
“The Ukrainians have seen an opportunity there and taken it,” one official said. “What we've not seen is the Russians being able to push them back from that position.”
The Associated Press could not independently confirm the…