Ukrainian officials stated that Ukrainian forces have established bridgeheads on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and are conducting ground operations aimed at pushing Russian forces out of artillery range of the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River. The Ukrainian Marine Corps Command and the Ukrainian General Staff stated on November 17 that Ukrainian marines have secured several “bridgeheads” on the east bank following successful actions and are conducting actions to expand these positions. US military doctrine defines a bridgehead as “an area on the enemy’s side of the water obstacle that is large enough to accommodate the majority of the crossing force, has adequate terrain to permit defense of the crossing sites, provides security to crossing forces from enemy direct fire, and provides a base for continuing the attack.” The doctrinal definition of a bridgehead does not stipulate a certain size for the crossing force, the extent of the secured positions, or the ability to transfer and operate heavy military equipment from those positions. The necessary size of a bridgehead depends on the operations it is meant to support, and the official Ukrainian acknowledgment of these positions as bridgeheads indicates that the Ukrainian command assesses that these positions are sufficient for continuing ground operations on the east bank.
The Ukrainian General Staff stated that one of the main operational objectives for Ukrainian ground operations on the east bank is to prevent Russian shelling of Ukrainian civilians on the west bank of Kherson Oblast, particularly near Kherson City. The 152mm tube artillery systems that Russian forces widely operate in Ukraine have an approximate range of 25km, although Russian forces are unlikely to deploy these systems to immediate frontline areas due to the threat of Ukrainian counterbattery fire. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces on the east bank are conducting diversionary actions, raids, and reconnaissance and are particularly surveilling Russian positions for intelligence on Russian logistics and ammunition concentrations.
- Ukrainian officials stated that Ukrainian forces have established bridgeheads on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and are conducting ground operations aimed at pushing Russian forces out of artillery range of the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River.
- Russian forces appear to be applying lessons learned from attempts to man Russian multilayered defenses in western Zaporizhia Oblast during the Ukrainian counteroffensive to current Russian defensive operations in Kherson Oblast.
- Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces have suffered roughly a brigade’s worth of casualties since Ukrainian forces started ground operations on the east bank of Kherson Oblast on October 17, reportedly forcing Russian forces to transfer combat power from elsewhere in Ukraine to Kherson Oblast.
- Russian forces conducted a series of drone and missile strikes against Ukraine on the night of November 16 to 17.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the Israel-Hamas war has negatively affected Ukraine’s shell supplies.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov attempted to dismiss criticisms of the Russian government and the war in Ukraine as inevitable yet unfounded and urged Russian citizens to self-censor.
- Russian authorities detained several Federal Security Service (FSB) employees on November 16 for accepting a five-billion-ruble ($55.6 million) bribe in connection with the dismissal of a corruption case.
- Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in several sectors of the front.
- The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) reported on November 17 that the Russian military is likely using updated surveillance aircraft due to concerns over Ukraine deploying Western-provided combat aircraft.
- Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab (Yale HRL) reported on November 16 that Russian and Belarusian authorities have forcibly deported at least 2,442 Ukrainian children between the ages of six and 17 to Belarus via Russia since February 24, 2022.