Why the “race for the Dnieper” is vital to the Ukrainian military

Satellite image of the Khakovka dam on the Dnieper, which the Russians took control of at the start of their offensive in February. AFO

Decryption – Launched in late August, the Ukrainian counteroffensive aims to liberate the Kherson region on the right bank of the river.

Geography is stubborn. The riverine Ukraine, traversed from north to south by the mighty Dnieper, presented many natural obstacles to the advance of Russian troops. “These wet cuts, in military jargon, are always beneficial to a defensive posture because they prevent movement.“Explains Eduard Joly, a researcher at the IRSEM (Strategic Research Institute of the Military School) and an expert in the theory of armed conflicts. At the beginning of May, the Russian army trying to cross the Donets River into the Donbass was repulsed with heavy losses. Many bridges were built, then destroyed, preventing any progress. “In this type of warfare, the intervention of engineer units is necessary to build pontoon bridges that pose significant security risks under enemy fire.», explains Doctor Pascal Le Bautremet in Contemporary History and International Relations.

The French know one of the famous tributaries of the Dnieper: the Berezina…

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