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Russian troops boxed in by Ukrainian forces and Dnieper River, barge carrying supplies to Russian troops sinks

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Sep 20, 2022

Russian troops have become boxed in between advancing Ukrainian forces in the southern Kherson region and the Dnieper River, with access to supplies and eastern routes blocked. 

Ukrainian forces sank a Russian barge transporting troops, equipment and weapons across the major river crossing, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said, according to Pravda Tuesday.

“Attempts to establish an alternative crossing over the River Dnieper near Nova Kakhovka and Kozatske were unsuccessful,” the command said. “A barge carrying weapons, equipment and military personnel joined the occupiers’ underwater fleet.”

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Russian forces have been relying on pontoon crossings to provide supplies and transportation routes to its forces west of the Dnieper River after Ukrainian troops destroyed two key bridges in July.

While Ukrainian forces made significant advancement in the northern Kharkiv region during a major counteroffensive this month, it has also been gaining in its southern Kherson region – where intense fighting has been ongoing for months.

Reports of guerrilla warfare in the city of Kherson reportedly broke out over the weekend between Russian troops who are looking to take what they can before they “flee.”

A top adviser to Ukraine’s president and a vocal critic on social media, Mykhailo Podolyak, said Sunday that the fighting in downtown Kherson showed a “manifestation of growing tension” between the Kremlin-linked militant force the Wagner Group, Chechen forces led by Moscow-appointed Ramzan Kadyrov, Russian soldiers and intelligence officials affiliated with Russia’s Federal Security Service – the successor agency to the KGB.

“[The] number of ‘domestic conflicts’ is increasing. Parties divide the loot before [they] flee considering the news about Armed Forces of Ukraine approach,” he added.

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Podolyak‘s comments suggest Russia could withdraw troops from the regional stronghold as Ukrainian forces advance, similar to steps taken by Moscow as Ukrainian soldiers made swift gains in Kharkiv.

But retreating east from Kherson will prove more difficult for Russian forces who have to contend with the Dnieper River, a major waterway that runs the entire length of the country and splits its eastern regions in the south from central and western Ukraine. 

“As we’ve established fire control over river crossings and logistical routes in the region, these (enemy) units have to realize they are stuck between our forces and the (Dnipro) river bank,” Ukrainian Operational Command South spokesperson Natalya Humeniuk told a Ukrainian news outlet Monday.

According to the spokesperson, Russian forces in the region are losing a sense of purpose and morale remains low.

Some Russian officials have allegedly initiated contact with Kyiv to negotiate a cease-fire in the region, though Fox News Digital could not independently verify this. 

“They’ve been offered to surrender under the auspices of international humanitarian law or to return home – although it’s unclear how [they] would manage that,” she added. 

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