Ukrainian forces based on the western side of the River Dnipro are frequently carrying out raids on the eastern bank near the city of Kherson to try to dislodge Russian troops, a regional official said on Tuesday.
Russian forces have held the eastern side of the Dnipro near Kherson since retreating from the southern city in November after months of occupation, but Ukraine is expected to launch a spring counteroffensive to try to recapture more territory.
The raids aim to reduce Russian combat ability
Yuriy Sobolevsky, deputy head of the Kherson regional administration, said the raids were intended to reduce the combat capability of Russian troops who have been shelling Kherson city since being forced to retreat.
"Our military visit the left (eastern) bank very often, conducting raids. The Ukrainian armed forces are working, and working very effectively," Sobolevsky told Ukrainian television.
"The results will come as they did on the right bank of the Kherson region when, thanks to a complex and long operation, they were able to liberate our territories with minimal losses for our military. The same thing happens now on the left bank."
Russia seized the Kherson region soon after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine 14 months ago, and has continued since then to hold all of the region's territory east the Dnipro.
Military analysts say Ukraine is likely soon to launch a counteroffensive, and that one of the main goals could be breaking through a southern land corridor between Russia and the Russia-annexed Crimea region. Retaking all the Kherson region would be an important step towards achieving this goal.
The US-based Institute for the Study of War said last week that Russian military bloggers had posted enough geolocated footage to confirm that Ukrainian troops have established a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro.
Sobolevsky gave no further details, saying a military operation requires "informational silence."