Russian forces are attempting another crossing of the Seversky Donets River, Ukraine says

The Russian military prepared on Saturday to attempt another pontoon crossing of an eastern Ukrainian river that represented a formidable barrier to its objectives in the region, the Ukrainian military said, despite having suffered one of its deadliest engagements of the war. in an earlier attempt this month.

Russian forces were again staging connecting equipment near the Seversky Donets River, the Ukrainian military said in its regularly published morning assessment of the war. He said the Russian army seemed ready to resume an offensive in the area bound for the city of Yampil.

“The enemy has not ceased offensive actions in the eastern operational zone with the aim of establishing full control over the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” says the assessment.

The Ukrainian army blew up the bridges to force the Russians to build pontoon bridges, a tactic that has proven effective and costly for the Russian military. Military forces are particularly vulnerable to artillery attacks as they gather soldiers, armored vehicles and equipment while attempting to cross.

In the first month of the war, Ukrainians destroyed dozens of Russian troop transport battleships at a location on the Irpin River, northwest of the capital, Kiev, where the Russian army attempted seven unsuccessful pontoon crossings before retreating.

In the battle for control of the eastern coal-mining region known as Donbas, Russian forces attempted several pier crossings of the Seversky Donets, seen as an important tactical step towards the goal of encircling a pocket of Ukrainian troops in and around the city of Sievierdonetsk. .

On 11 May, Ukrainian artillery hit a pier with devastating effect, destroy the bridge, incinerate armored vehicles on both banks of the river and kill more than 400 soldiers, according to estimates by Western military analysts. The UK Ministry of Defense has released corroborating statements, based on satellite imagery, Ukrainian accounts and aerial drone images posted online about the attack.

The 650-mile long Seversky Donets River originates in Russia and winds southeast through the Donbas region before reentering Russian territory, forming lakes, floodplains and swamps that form an effective barrier for Russian armored vehicles. However, Russia gained ground in its eastern offensive with incremental progress and repeated attempts to storm Ukrainian lines, under cover of intense artillery bombardment.

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