Google Earth image shows the Battle For Kinburn Spit could be Underway in Ukraine
Google Earth Image Ukraine hopes to recapture the strategic Black Sea peninsula that serves as a chokepoint for two rivers and a Russian artillery stronghold. The post-Ukraine Situation Report: Battle For Kinburn Spit Underway appeared first on The Drive.
Ukrainian forces have recaptured much of the southern part of the country up to the Dnipro River and now a battle is underway to dislodge Russian troops from their last stronghold in Mykolaiv Oblast.
Ukrainian troops are now fighting to liberate the Kinburn Spit, the tip of the narrow Kinburn Peninsula jutting into the Black Sea. It’s a strategic chokepoint for both the Dnipro and South Bug rivers, controlling access to the key ports of Kherson City and Mykolaiv respectively.
It’s also located just two miles away from the port of Ochakiv, the eastern-most Black Sea port still held by Ukraine. Russian forces have used the Kinburn Spit to routinely conduct missile and artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions there, as well as throughout southern Mykolaiv Oblast – including Mykolaiv City – and other areas along the Ukrainian-controlled Black Sea Coast, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
“The Kinburn Spit is also out of the 25km range of 152mm artillery that Russian forces have accumulated on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast,” according to ISW. “Control of the Kinburn Spit would allow Ukrainian forces to relieve Russian strikes on the Ukrainian-controlled Black Sea coast, increase naval activity in the area, and conduct potential operations to cross to the left (east) bank in Kherson Oblast under significantly less Russian artillery fire compared to a crossing of the Dnipro River.”
Ukraine is being careful in how much information it is providing about the operation.
“The most important thing is that the operation continues and we continue the fight against the enemy,” Nataliya Humenyuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Operational Command South, told the Ukrainian Espreso TV station on Tuesday. “We must be aware that premature reports about the…disappearance of the enemy from there can significantly harm Mykolaiv, which has breathed a little in connection with the de-occupation of large areas and pushing the enemy to a great distance. But this distance can be critical and [the enemy can] return fire.”
Rough weather, she added, is helping Ukraine.
“The sea helps us,” she said. “The enemy cannot gain a foothold there because the Armed Forces inflict damage on the enemy’s points.”
Another factor in Ukraine’s favor, she added, is the lack of places for Russian troops to hide.
“The spit does not provide for the location of a large number of buildings where it is possible to gain a foothold and hold on,” she said. “We allow only the storm to make noise, and everyone to observe silence.”
In addition to being a key chokepoint, the Kinburn Spit, along with Russia’s presence on the east bank of the Dnipro River, “allows the enemy to raise reserves,” Humenyuk said.
Vitaliy Kim, the governor of Mykoliav Oblast, said on his Facebook page that there are three settlements on the spit still to be liberated.
As Ukrainian forces attacked the Kinburn Spit, they also launched yet another drone strike on Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which you can read more about here. While it remains to be seen how effective either operation is, one thing is clear. Ukraine has its eyes on Crimea.
A significant Ukrainian advance on the Kinburn Peninsula would put its forces across the Dnipro River, about 100 miles northwest of Crimea, which Ukrainian officials have vowed to liberate after more than eight years of occupation by Russia. That could help them bypass some of the defensive positions Russia has been building up as it retreated east of the Dnipro.
Ukraine’s use of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS has Russians reworking logistic routes in Crimea, widening and improving the road of the Arabat Spit, a narrow, 70-mile-long body of land running along the eastern edge of the peninsula.
Occupation forces in Crimea, meanwhile, appear to be preparing for some kind of attack.