November 7, 2023

Institute for the Study of War: Ukraine strike in Crimea caused significant damage to Russian warship

Institute for the Study of War

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces transferred a limited number of armored vehicles to the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and are continuing larger-than-usual ground operations on the east bank with a light infantry grouping of roughly battalion size. Russian milbloggers amplified a picture on November 6 purporting to show a Ukrainian tracked amphibious transport (PTS) vehicle carrying an infantry fighting vehicle onto the east bank near Krynky (30km northeast of Kherson City and 2km from the Dnipro River). Other milbloggers claimed on November 7 that a Ukrainian amphibious infantry fighting vehicle crossed the Dnipro River on its own near Krynky and amplified separate footage on November 7 purporting to show a destroyed Western amphibious armored personnel carrier in an unspecified location on the east bank. Select Russian milbloggers claimed that either one or two Ukrainian PTS vehicles crossed the Dnipro near Krynky, while other milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces transferred several unspecified armored vehicles to the area. Russian milbloggers claimed that more than 300 Ukrainian personnel (about a battalion’s worth) are operating on the east bank in the Krynky area and continue to claim that Ukrainian forces maintain positions in central Krynky and nearby areas. One milblogger claimed that several hundred Ukrainian personnel are operating throughout east bank Kherson Oblast. Russian milbloggers claimed that combat engagements continued near Krynky, as well as near Poyma (12km east of Kherson City and 4km from the Dnipro River), Pishchanivka (13km east of Kherson City and 3km from the Dnipro River), and Pidstepne (17km east of Kherson City and 4km from the Dnipro River), but did not claim that Ukrainian attempts to advance on November 6 and 7 were particularly larger than in previous days.

Ukrainian forces likely conducted initial company-sized assaults across the Dnipro River onto the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast on October 17 and 18. The reported battalion-size Ukrainian force grouping on the east bank suggests that heavy Russian interdiction efforts along the Dnipro River have not prevented Ukrainian forces from transferring additional personnel and materiel to positions on the east bank. ISW will not speculate on the prospects of ongoing Ukrainian activity on the east bank of Kherson Oblast.

Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on November 7. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast) directions. A Russian milblogger claimed on November 6 that Ukrainian forces crossed the railway near Andriivka (10km southwest of Bakhmut). A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces are entrenched in forest areas near Verbove (9km east of Robotyne) and that a lack of Russian control of the airspace in the area is complicating Russian artillery fire on these positions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces transferred a limited number of armored vehicles to the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and are continuing larger-than-usual ground operations on the east bank with a light infantry grouping of roughly battalion size.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on November 7.
  • A prominent pro-war Russian milblogger who is typically optimistic about Russian capabilities expressed a relatively pessimistic assessment of the war and emphasized the need for the Kremlin to fully mobilize the Russian economy and defense industrial base (DIB) to a wartime footing to win.
  • Russian authorities detained Republic of Dagestan’s deputy Minister of Internal Affairs on the pretext of corruption charges, likely in an effort to demonstrate that the federal government is taking action in Dagestan without drawing further attention to the interethnic and interreligious tensions and the propensity for destabilization in the region.
  • The Ukrainian strike on a Russian shipyard in Kerch, occupied Crimea on November 4 significantly damaged a Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) naval vessel.
  • Russian forces conducted 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, in eastern Zaporizhia Oblast, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and reportedly advanced in some areas.
  • A Russian battalion comprised of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) will likely deploy to Ukraine in the near future in an apparent violation of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War.
  • Kremlin-appointed Commissioner on Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova advertised several benefit schemes targeting children in occupied Ukraine as part of the “A Country for Children” strategic program.
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