At approximately 0300 EST, initial reports began to indicate that Ukrainian Special Forces conducted a contested landing across the Dnieper River at Kozachi Laheri. Both pro-Ukraine and pro-Russian military bloggers immediately claimed and counterclaimed the success of the operation.
Initial Russian reports claimed at least 25 Ukrainian soldiers and artillery had landed and taken control of a small area. Several Russian military bloggers published coordinates and geo-located footage of the landing site where a fierce firefighter ensued.
Surprise! Ukr special forces landed on the left bank of the Dnipro, W of Kozachi Lageri.
I was informed on the planned raid 2 days ago, but for obvious reasons couldn't talk. So far, it seems to be a probing attack, done w/speed boats. But Russians got a taste of what will come. pic.twitter.com/fRME1dn6Jn
— Julian Röpcke?? (@JulianRoepcke) August 8, 2023
According to pro-Ukrainian sources, the operation was a raid and not intended to make a serious footprint on the other side of the river. Corresponding footage on TikTok seems to corroborate this claim in that the video shows Ukrainian troops fleeing the shore while firing at a tree line where Russian troops were returning fire. In the video, one can clearly see military hardware burning, but it is not clear if that was a destroyed Russian position or one of the claimed Ukrainian artillery pieces.
Russian-appointed Governor of Kherson Oblast, Saldo told press that the landing was rebuffed by the Russian Dnepr Group. His statement reads below:
”At night, Ukrainian armed formations tried to land the so-called “landing” from two boats on the left bank of the Dnieper near the village of Cossack camps.
The servicemen of the Dnepr group of troops destroyed the boats while trying to moor, the militants on them ended up in the water. Some tried to swim back to the right bank, but no one swam under heavy artillery and small arms fire.
The landing attempt was thwarted, there are no enemy fighters in the area of ??the Cossack Camps. The left bank is under the reliable protection of Russian troops. Anyone who tries to land will be destroyed.”
It is not currently clear if Ukrainian troops are still on the Russian side of the river. However, the fact that Ukrainian troops were able to land without interdiction from Russian air support shows that Russian targeteers were were outpaced by Ukrainian deception techniques. Previous Ukrainian small-boat operations against Ernhodar ended in disaster when Russian Army Tactical Aviation engaged the boats.