Ukraine is trying to recapture a crucial ground salvo that could disrupt Russia’s missile defenses

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A photo of Kinburn Spit taken before the war.

A photo of Ukraine’s Kinburn Spit, taken before the war.iStock/Getty Images Plus

  • Ukraine is trying to take over a small strip of land which would give it a great strategic advantage.

  • Kinburn Spit has been a site of Russian missile launches and offers control over Ukraine’s largest river.

  • Ukraine has launched an operation there, and Forbes reported that some Ukrainians landed.

Ukraine is trying to take control of a strategic spit of land that would allow it to take command of a major river and prevent Russia’s missile strikes in parts of the country.

Ukraine have confirmed that they are trying to regain control of Kinburn Spit — a thin strip of land across much of the mouth of the Dnipro River, which it lost to Russia in June.

Ukrainian officials have said they would not release any details of the operation until it was complete. Forbes reported Thursday that Ukrainian commandos landed in small boats on the spit in an amphibious assault.

It did not say how large or well-armed a landing party was. It was also not clear how much of a defense Russia was providing.

But if Ukraine were to regain the Kinburn Spit, it would gain a significant new advantage.

Russia has used the strip for its missile and artillery strikes near Ukrainian cities, according to a recent update from The Institute for the Study of War.

A map showing where Kinburn Spit is in relation to the Black Sea and the city of Kherson.

A map showing where Kinburn Spit is in relation to the Black Sea and the city of Kherson.Google Maps/Insider

Ukraine’s reclamation of the peninsula would “free” these areas from Russia’s attack by putting them out of reach, it said.

Russia has relied heavily on artillery and missile strikes throughout its invasion, and in recent weeks has waged an intense campaign of missile and drone strikes against residential areas, apparently aimed at knocking out electricity and water supplies to civilians.

Depriving Russia of the Kinburn Spit would impair Russia’s ability to attack some regions, according to ISW, although it would not end Russian attacks by itself.

Whoever gets the peninsula also gains significant control over access to the Dnipro, Ukraine’s most significant waterway, ISW noted.

Russia currently controls most of the area east of the river, with Ukraine controlling the western part after recapturing the city of Kherson earlier this month.

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