Russia's military has announced the prevention of a Ukrainian attempt to establish a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the River Dnipro and nearby islands, resulting in the reported death of approximately 500 Ukrainian soldiers over the past week, as per a statement from the Russian defense ministry, Reuters reports.
The claim, made by the Russian defense ministry, specifically cited the Kherson area in southern Ukraine as the location of the clashes. Reuters, however, could not independently verify the information provided in the statement.
According to the Russian defense ministry's statement, the incident occurred on November 9, involving a motorized rifle company from the Russian military grouping 'Dnipro,' commanded by Senior Lieutenant Zolto Arsalanov. The company reportedly engaged and destroyed servicemen from Ukraine's 36th Marine Infantry brigade attempting to establish a foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro River.
The statement further asserted that most of the Ukrainian soldiers were killed during the confrontation, with 11 taken prisoner by Russian forces. Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister, awarded the involved Russian soldiers with state honors for their "courage and heroism."
The statement detailed multiple unsuccessful attempts by Ukrainian forces to land and seize a bridgehead on the islands and the eastern bank of the Dnipro. It credited the proactive and preemptive actions of Russian troops, coupled with artillery fire, for inflicting significant losses on the Ukrainian side. The claimed losses included 505 servicemen, 18 field artillery guns, 15 boats, and 25 vehicles over the course of the week.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, acknowledged some progress in Ukraine's counteroffensive, particularly in the south and east. He mentioned "good steps" near the Kherson region, the same area cited in the Russian defense ministry's statement.