Evacuation of soldiers, washing away fortifications and minefields. War in Kherson frozen for several months

, 13:06, 07.06.2023
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The effects of the destruction of the dam in Nowa Kakhovka will have a serious impact on the possibility of waging war over a large area. If the Ukrainians really planned some sort of landing across t

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Evacuation of soldiers, washing away fortifications and minefields. War in Kherson frozen for several months

The front will freeze for months

The effects of the destruction of the dam in Nova Kakhovka will have a serious impact on the possibility of waging war over a large area. If the Ukrainians army really planned some sort of landing across the Dnieper, they could postpone these plans for months. The Russians will lose some of their fortifications, but probably not the main ones, and they can feel safer now. Are the Russians were preparing to blow up the dam?

What really happened to the Nova Kakhovka dam on the night from Monday to Tuesday, we do not know yet. The Ukrainians claim that the Russians detonated the explosives prepared in the autumn, and even give the number of the unit and the name of the general who issued the order. The Russians either claim that the dam collapsed as a result of damage sustained by Ukrainian shelling in the fall, or that the Ukrainians just bombed it now.

The effects of the huge catastrophe taking place right now will have serious consequences for both sides. Rapid flooding below the damaged dam will virtually freeze combat operations in the area for months. For now, there is a hasty evacuation of troops from both sides from the islands in the river and from the wetlands on its banks.

There has been relative silence since autumn

The situation on this section of the Dnieper has been stable for months. Small-scale fighting continued, mainly with special forces sabotage groups, as well as drone harassment and mutual artillery fire. Both sides fortified themselves on their shores and left only relatively few units of low combat value to defend them. All others were redeployed further east after the Russian withdrawal from Kherson in late October/early November.

The Dnieper below the dam was very wide, from 300 to 400 meters to even about a kilometer. In addition, the left bank, the one controlled by the Russians, was very low and swampy. It was dominated by numerous backwaters, islets, swamps and small branches of the Dnieper. There have been suggestions for months, including from the Russians, that the Ukrainians might try to launch a major amphibious operation across the river as part of their major offensive. The Ukrainians fueled such speculations by publishing recordings of exercises for crossing water obstacles from time to time.

However, this was still an unrealistic scenario. With such a wide river and such a difficult one bank, it would be a great engineering challenge, with a serious risk of failure and heavy losses. However, it could not be ruled out that the Ukrainians would want to do it precisely because it seems unlikely. The gains from taking the Russians by surprise and attacking their poorly defended flank could be large.

Evacuation of soldiers, washing away fortifications and minefields

The front will freeze for months

But now it's in the past. The consequences of the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam will be such that the war will be practically frozen on the entire front along the Dnieper. According to the simulation, the river pool will now be several kilometers wide in the narrowest places to a dozen or so in the widest ones. In addition, the current will be unpredictable, full of new shallows and with completely unrecognized shores. Even when the water from the reservoir overflows and its level drops, there will be new vast wetlands, huge amounts of newly deposited sediments and devastated infrastructure. It will probably take months for the situation to normalise. Organizing an amphibious operation in such conditions, with the small Ukrainian forces, is extremely difficult to imagine.

There remains the question of the inevitable drop in the water level in the reservoir of the destroyed dam. The Kakhovsky reservoir is huge. It stretches for over 200 kilometers to the city of Zaporozhye. In some places it has a width exceeding 20 kilometers and for the army it is a very serious natural obstacle. From the first month of the war, when the Russians stood on the southern bank, the fighting was limited to artillery, drones, and special forces raids. Now the reservoir will shrink sharply, although it will probably still be a serious obstacle. Especially since its former bottom will probably be muddy and waterlogged for weeks.

#Russian Agression#Nova Kakhovka

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DATE OF CREATION: 2023-06-07 13:06:36 · READERS: 404


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