River crossing will probably become a debacle for Russia - Ex-General: "Significant setback"
Created: 05/15/2022, 06:10
By: Yasina Hipp
Drone footage is said to show the destroyed Russian makeshift bridges over the Donets River.
© ---/Ministry of Defense of Ukraine/dpa
When crossing the Donets River, Russian troops lost many vehicles and soldiers.
An American ex-general is now explaining the effects.
Sieryerodonetsk - "Bilohorivka is just withstanding the Russian onslaught, our defenders twice destroyed pontoon bridges," reported the military governor of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, Serhiy Hayday, on Thursday.
About 100 kilometers north-west of the city of Luhansk, Russian troops during the war in Ukraine tried to cross the river Siwerskyi Donets near the city of Bilohorivka.
The so-called pontoon bridges are bridges consisting of special floating bodies that are intended to enable military vehicles to cross rivers.
On Thursday morning (May 12), the 17th Armored Brigade of the Ukrainian Army was able to inflict a painful blow on Russian troops.
Drone footage is said to show destroyed Russian vehicles.
Experts suspect hundreds dead.
Mick Ryan, a US ex-general, explains on Twitter the significance of this failed river crossing.
Ukraine War: Armed river crossings are difficult military manoeuvres
In a detailed explanation, Mick Ryan presents the difficulties of such a river crossing on his Twitter channel.
He emphasizes how complicated and time-consuming such maneuvers are.
The troops are particularly vulnerable before and during the crossing.
Speaking from his own time in the US military, Ryan reports, "If we can successfully do river crossings as a brigade, we can do any other combined arms mission."
Such a river crossing is divided into six phases, as the US military expert knows:
1. Exploration and Planning:
Why is the crossing needed, where is it made and what is happening on the other side of the river?
The enemy (in this case Ukraine) should be denied access to reconnaissance, surveillance and shelling opportunities at the crossing point.
3. Make opaque:
This includes, among other things, nocturnal actions, smoke, electronic jammers, deception maneuvers in other places and kill as many enemies as possible near the crossing point.
Friendly forces secure the approaches to the crossing point, the assembly points, and the main and side banks of the crossing.
5. Reduction of obstacles:
eliminating the obstacle (river) for your own troops, usually at least two crossing points and a reserve.
The troops cross the bridges and spread out on the other side of the crossing to prepare for further advance.
US military expert: The aim was to strengthen the main axis of the Russian advance
Such a river crossing and the implementation of the six phases, as Ryan knows, requires many resources: be it personnel, planning or materials.
According to Ryan, the Russians' goal in building the bridges across the river and then crossing them was to strengthen their main axis of advance.
And that is precisely why the destruction of the bridges by Ukrainian troops is so painful.
Ryan writes: "Probably not just a battalion but a whole brigade has lost a large part of its combat effectiveness."
The lost combat power also includes some bridge-building equipment that could have been of importance for the further course of the war and the advance.
US ex-general sees "significant setback" of the advance
"By losing in crossing the river of attack, the Russians probably lost an advancing axis which they obviously thought would be of use in their eastern offensive.
This is a major setback for them,” Mick Ryan, the former US general, emphasizes once again that the destruction of this main axis is particularly relevant.
How successful the Ukrainian strike against the Russian troops really was is difficult to assess independently.
In another report, military governor Hajdaj states that the attackers probably managed to cross the river after all.
The situation has "deteriorated significantly".