The Russian occupiers expect the Armed Forces of Ukraine to cross the Dnieper River and conduct counter-offensive operations in the east of the Kherson region, possibly threatening all important land lines from Crimea to the mainland. This is reported by the American Institute for the Study of War.
Satellite imagery shows that the Russians are prioritizing digging trenches and building anti-tank fortifications along the contact lines that connect Russian troops on the eastern (left) bank of the Dnieper to the southeastern rear areas in the Kherson region and Crimea, as well as to the eastern rear areas around Melitopol, Zaporozhye region.
Most of these field fortifications are located directly on the demarcation lines themselves and are mainly oriented perpendicular to the roads themselves.
In addition, the invaders significantly strengthened the 3-kilometer strip of land separating the Kinburn Spit from the mainland of the Kherson region, as well as along the beaches to the south and east of this strip. This may indicate that the command of the Russian troops considers the prospect of a Ukrainian counteroffensive across the Dnieper River as a serious threat.
Analysts also point out that many of the occupier's fortifications along the roads do not extend far beyond the roads themselves, often far enough to provide good fields of fire on both sides of the road itself. Most of these positions have open flanks, ending in the middle of the fields. Most of these positions are not within tactical support distance of each other, making each of them vulnerable to Ukrainian tactical encirclement.
Experts assume that the occupying forces will try to slow down, rather than stop, the Ukrainian offensive on the eastern (left) bank of the Dnieper River in order to deploy more reinforcements.
Thus, Russian efforts to prepare large defensive positions in the east of the Kherson region, no matter how well or poorly executed, underline the critical importance of this area for the further course of the war.
If Ukrainian forces gain a foothold in the east of the Kherson region, they may threaten an additional counteroffensive on Melitopol from west, from which Russian troops will probably try to defend themselves.