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Ukrainian soldiers cross critical Dnipro River for first time since invasion began

By Elizabeth Delaney
|
April 26, 2023

The Ukrainian military achieved a positive advancement in the fight to free the war-torn country from Russia’s occupation as they have crossed the Dnipro River for the first time since the beginning of Russia’s invasion.

Taking the Dnipro River is a significant achievement

Ukrainian troops crossed the river in the south of the country, as conflict analysts continue to speculate on the implementation of Ukraine's spring offensive, according to Express news.

The taking of the Dnipro River is a significant advancement which has served as the front line for the invasion since Russian soldiers retreated from Kherson city in November, according to the Daily Mail.

Russia has tried to save face by insisting that leaving Kherson was an advantage allowing them to use the river as a part of their defense.

However, on Monday a Ukrainian military official claimed that Ukrainian forces have been able to achieve "impressive results" in efforts to counter Russia's forces in areas where it has been occupying the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, according to the ISW.

Ukrainian Southern Operational Forces spokesperson, Nataliya Humenyuk said that Ukraine's military has hit and destroyed Russian air defense system, artillery systems, armored vehicles, and tanks.

She also stated that the frontline on the east bank is in the processes of being cleared by Ukrainian troops in a "counter-battery mode."

In what may be one of the notable acts of progress in favor of the Ukraine, Humenyuk indicated that Russia is using Russian units to evacuate civilians from the banks of the Dnipro River area, which simplifies Ukrainian operations efforts, according to the ISW.

Russia has downgraded its war ambitions

It's been suspected that over the past few months, the Kremlin has downgraded its overall efforts in its war ambitions from conquering all of the Ukraine to simply strengthening its efforts to force those in areas it already occupies in the south and east to accept Russian Federation passports or be deported, UK intelligence reported, according to Yahoo News.

The Military of Defense on Monday indicated that it's believed that the Russian military is "almost certainly coercing" locals in Russian occupied areas to comply by June 1st, 2023.

Forcing the people in the countries Russia conquers to adopt Russian culture is referred to as "Russification," and it was especially common during the time of the Russian empire in the 19th Century.

Russia's attack on the Ukraine makes other countries on its borders nervous

The countries that were once forced to be a part of that empire are keenly aware of this practice, and it's much of the reason why those countries are especially nervous about Russia's invasion of the Ukraine.

Some of those countries included Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

The VOA recently reported steps that the country of Latvia has been taking to prepare to defend itself from a possible Russian invasion.

Some of these activities include enhancing the training of its National Guard, and considering the implementation of a draft in efforts to shore up its troops and be at the ready.

Latvia has been one of the most committed countries in providing aide to the Ukraine, extending one percent of its GDP, or $410 million worth of military assistance.

Latvia, its Baltic neighbors, the country of Georgia, and Poland have been especially outspoken about the dangers of Russian Expansion.