Ukraine is trying to recapture key ground that could disrupt Russian missile fire

Photograph of Kinburn Spit taken before the war.

Photo of the Ukrainian Kinburn Spit, taken before the war.iStock/Getty Images Plus

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

  • Kinburn Spit has been a launch site for Russian missiles and offers control over Ukraine’s main river.

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

Ukraine is trying to take control of strategic territory that would allow it to command a major river and thwart Russian missile attacks on parts of the country.

Ukraine has confirmed it is trying to regain control of the Kinburn Spit – a thin strip of land across much of the Dnieper estuary that it lost to Russia in June.

Ukrainian officials said they would not release any details about the operation until it was completed. 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 the landing party was. It was also unclear how much defense Russia was doing.

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

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

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

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

Ukraine’s recapture of the peninsula would “liberate” these areas from Russian strikes by putting them out of range.

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 attacks on residential areas, ostensibly aimed at knocking out electricity and water supplies to civilians.

Depriving Russia of the Kinburn Spit would reduce Russia’s ability to strike some regions, according to ISW, although it would not in itself end Russian strikes.

Whoever gets the peninsula will also gain significant control over the entrance to the Dnieper, Ukraine’s most important waterway, ISW noted.

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

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