The Dnieper River continues to be a battleground in the Russo-Ukraine as Russia attempts to use small boats to keep its presence on islands, according to a U.K. intelligence released this week.
Ukraine troops have taken out a number of Russian outposts along the river’s banks using long-range weapons, according to Thursday tweets from the U.K. Ministry of Defence.
“Both sides are likely aiming to maintain a presence in these areas to control maritime access to the strategically important river and to provide warning of any attempt by their adversaries to launch a major assault across the river,” the U.K. Ministry of Defence tweeted.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 8 February 2023
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/cJ3RIZCDLN
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/N6txUY0ikS
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) February 8, 2023
The Dnieper River cuts Ukraine in two, traveling from the Black Sea, through Kherson, up to Kyiv and into Belarus. Kherson has seen heavy fighting since Russia invaded nearly a year ago.
Ukrainian troops have managed river crossings during the war, The War Zone reported, but crossings have been limited due to Russian bombings. The U.K. Ministry of Defence did not think Russia would soon attempt an assault crossing of the river due to likely loss of troops and material.
The U.S. sent 18 patrol boats in June to help Ukraine monitor its rivers, USNI News previously reported. Six of the ships were from Metal Shark, the company announced in June.
U.K. First Sea Lord Adm. Ben Key recently hosted Vice Adm. Oleksiy Neizhpapa, head of the Ukrainian navy, according to a series of tweets from Key’s account.
The two navy officials discussed British support in keeping Ukraine’s seas and waterways free, Key said in his tweets.
“We considered the maritime challenges that they are facing, and the impacts of the war on the Ukrainian economy, particularly the transport of grain by sea to parts of the world where it is needed,” Key tweeted.
Thread: As Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky visits the UK today, I was privileged recently to host in London Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, head of the Ukrainian Navy. We discussed the Royal Navy and United Kingdom’s ongoing commitment to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/EQUPKCQ7a2
— First Sea Lord (@FirstSeaLord) February 8, 2023
Russia’s Black Sea ships continue to stay toward the port in Novorossiysk. Ship spotter and USNI News contributor H.I. Sutton tweeted a satellite image Thursday that showed seven ships, a submarine and a floating warehouse in port.