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Kinburn Spit

Coordinates: 46°33′31″N 31°31′40″E / 46.55861°N 31.52778°E / 46.55861; 31.52778
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Kinburn Spit
Кінбурнська коса (Ukrainian)
The Kinburn Spit in autumn
The Kinburn Spit in autumn
Coordinates: 46°33′31″N 31°31′40″E / 46.55861°N 31.52778°E / 46.55861; 31.52778
LocationMykolaiv Raion, Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine
Part of
Native nameКінбурнська коса (Ukrainian)
 • Length10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long
 • Width1 kilometre (0.62 mi) wide

The Kinburn Spit (Ukrainian: Кінбурнська коса, romanizedKinbúrnska kosá) is a spit in Mykolaiv Raion, Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine.[1] Its only land access is through Kherson Oblast. It occupies the westernmost part of the Kinburn Peninsula, stretching west into the Black Sea between the Dnieper-Bug estuary to the north and the Yahorlyk Bay to the south. It is approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long, with a width of about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) at its base, narrowing to about 100 metres (330 ft) in its western half.

During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the spit was captured by Russian forces on 10 June 2022. Russia fortified the spit and used it as a site to deploy electronic warfare and coordinate missile and artillery attacks on nearby Ukrainian positions. Since Ukraine's 2022 Kherson counteroffensive that ended in November 2022, regained territory north of the spit has allowed Ukrainian forces to more frequently attempt amphibious landings on the spit to conduct reconnaissance for its potential recapture.


The Battle of Kinburn was fought on 12 October (N.S.)/1 October (O.S.) 1787 as part of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).

The Battle of Kinburn was fought on 17 October 1855 as part of the Crimean War.

A map c.1830 depicting the Kinburn Fort [fr] on the spit.

Until the mid-19th century, an Ottoman fort was located on Kinburn Spit, which was taken over by Russians at the end of the 18th century. It was dismantled following the 1853-1856 Crimean War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1856).[citation needed] During the control of the Soviet Union from 1922-1991, the entire Kinburn Peninsula had a population of more than 1,000 in the three villages located there, and was known for its strawberry growing and harvesting.[2] The harvested crop would often be flown to Odesa for wider distribution in farmers' markets.[2] Approximately after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the population in all three villages dropped, and as of 2022 stood at around 150 combined; the majority of the strawberry growing and harvesting stopped. This has led to Kinburn becoming a Natural Park in Ukraine, preserving the remaining ecosystem and wildlife, specifically the unique pink pelicans which live there.[2][better source needed] The majority of the revenue from the spit before the invasion came from campers, hikers, and stargazers visiting the National Park.[2]

2022 Russian invasion[edit]

The Kinburn Spit was not occupied by Russian forces at the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Four months later on 10 June Russian forces took the spit after overcoming resistance by Ukrainian forces there.[3][4] The Russian offensive was aided in part by the consistent bombardment of Ukrainian naval assets in Ochakiv in the month leading to the capture, making it difficult for Ukraine to resupply its troops there.[3] The capture of the spit was one of the last significant Russian military victories on the southern Ukrainian front in 2022.[4]

During the occupation, Russian forces deployed electronic warfare systems and coordinated shelling of the right bank of the Dnieper and southern Ukraine.[5] The spit was also used as a launch site for missile and artillery attacks on Ukrainian-controlled positions in Ochakiv,[6] southern Mykolaiv Oblast, and the Black Sea coast.[7][8] The spit housed at least one ammunition depot[9] and potentially a combat drone control and training center.[10] The spit was believed to be well-fortified by Russia with square concrete bunkers.[2]

The war has not only had a disruptive and destructive impact on the residents who lived on the Kinburn Spit, but to the unique plants and wildlife such as the Centaurea breviceps and Centaurea Paczoskii cornflower species,[11] and their sensitive ecosystem.[2] Bombs, and the pollutants that came from them, killed nearby dolphins, and opened the sand and soil to the threat of chemicals seeping in and invasive species, according to the research and policy director at the UK-based Conflict and Environment Observatory Doug Weir.[12] In May 2022 a 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) fire, started by rockets, inflicted lasting habitat damage to the perennial forests and salt marshes of the spit.[2][12][13]

Ukraine conducted the first recorded reconnaissance attempts on the spit beginning in September 2022 on the advice of the United Kingdom.[4][14] Assaults and strikes continued throughout September[4][9][10] and into October.[4][2]

Dnieper campaign (2022–present)[edit]

After the Russian retreat from the west bank of the Dnieper river during the Ukrainian southern counteroffensive on 11 November, all remaining Russian-occupied territory in Mykolaiv Oblast except the Kinburn Spit was recaptured by Ukrainian forces.[15] Ukraine once again had access to the mouth of the Dnieper, although navigation to the Black Sea was still not possible.[3][16] Ochakiv became less vulnerable to Russian artillery attacks after the frontline shift, allowing Ukrainian forces to stage attacks from there with less threat of disruption. Ochakiv was the closest settlement to the spit at a distance of only 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) across the strait,[7] the Russian retreat put Kinburn "well within massed artillery range" according to Mike Martin, a fellow at the Department of War Studies at King's College London.[4] On 12 November, Ukraine's Operational Command South officially announced their intention to recapture Kinburn Spit.[2][4]

On the night of 13 November, Ukrainian landing groups from Ochakiv attempted to land on the spit at Pokrovske after conducting limited raids[17] and small boat landings in the days before.[18] Reports the operation had been a success circulated on mainly Ukrainian social networks until the rebuff was officially clarified by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on 15 November.[19][20] On 14 November, Russian forces launched S-300 missiles at Ochakiv, which they reported was to disrupt Ukrainian fire control over the spit, delaying future attempts at a landing.[17] On 16 November, Ukraine's Operational Command South reported that its forces had carried out more than 50 strikes around the spit to disrupt Russian shelling and electronic warfare.[5] The strikes reportedly killed 17 Russian troops and damaged 18 pieces of military equipment.[20][21] On 18 and 19 November, Ukrainian attacks reportedly continued, successfully targeting concentrations of Russian forces and equipment.[22][23] On 21 November, Ukrainian head of the press center of the Security and Defense Forces of the Operational Command South[24] Natalia Humeniuk officially confirmed that Ukraine was conducting military operations on the spit, but called for operational silence,[7][22][24] which was confirmed a day later by the CSCIS who said that Ukrainian forces had yet to officially recapture ground.[25] Along with reports of continued Russian shellings of Ochakiv,[26] satellite imagery showcased by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) on 27 November revealed that since approximately the 11 November retreat, Russian forces had been fortifying the 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide strip of land separating the spit from mainland Kherson Oblast.[27] The new information promoted the following response from the ISW,

The array of Russian fortifications on and around the Kinburn Spit (as shown in the map) suggests that Russian forces do not expect to maintain positions on the spit itself if Ukrainian forces launch a counterattack against the spit; rather, Russian forces very likely expect Ukrainian forces to take the Kinburn Spit but intend to prevent them from advancing to mainland Kherson Oblast and to defend against an amphibious attack on the land immediately surrounding the spit's connection to mainland Kherson Oblast.

— Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 27, Institute for the Study of War

Despite this advantage in fortification, it was reported by Natalia Humeniuk during a telethon on 28 November that weather was playing a role in complicating Ukrainian military operations.[28] The same day, Russian forces deported the last remaining[29] 37 residents from the already sparsely populated area, as military operations continued there.[30][31][32] Volodymyr Saldo on 22 December, followed by another Russian source on 24 December, claimed that Ukrainian forces were regularly shelling the spit with long-range artillery and had destroyed a Russian port building there as a result, but that repeated assaults had been repelled.[33]

Regional Landscape Park[edit]

Kinburn sandbar
Kinburn sandbar

The Regional Landscape Park of Kinburn Foreland encompasses 17,890 hectares, of which 5,631 ha is covered with water.[34]

Park purposes:

  • Conservation of biological and landscape diversity
  • Organized citizens' activity
  • Cultural and educational activities
  • Local needs

Responsibility for compliance with environmental legislation, planning and development of the territory are assigned to the park administration, which is located in Ochakiv.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The Kinburn foreland is a unique natural complex of Lower-Dnieper sands consisting of mosaics of sandy steppes, various wetlands and artificial pine plantations. The protected weather contributes to a major vegetation area at the foreland in a combination of lush herbaceous vegetation with a pine and oak forest. Swamps can be found In the eastern part.

At the foreland a significant number of endemic, rare and endangered species of protected plants are observed. About 60 species found here appear in the Ukrainian Red List.[35] More than 15 fauna species are endemic to the region.[36] The Kinburn foreland is a part of the natural migration routes of many species of birds, where they concentrate, nest, and winter. Yagorlitsky Bay, with islands, forelands and inland lakes is considered a wetlands of international importance.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kinburn Spit TripMustGoOn
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Quaoar (30 October 2022). "Why is Russia fortifying an environmentally sensitive Ukrainian peninsula of sand and lakes?". dailykos.com. Daily Kos. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Hird, Karolina; Stepanenko, Kateryna; Clark, Mason (10 June 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 10". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Axe, David (14 November 2022). "A Strategic Strip Of Sand. Rumors Of Ukrainian Raids. As Russian Forces Retreat, Keep An Eye On The Kinburn Spit". Forbes. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Latest Developments in Ukraine: Nov. 16". voanews.com. Voice of America. 16 November 2022. Retrieved 19 November 2022. Ukrainian forces carried out more than 50 strikes around the Kinburn Spit, in Mykolaiv province, which is currently under the control of the Russian army. The spit is said to be a key site for Russian electronic warfare and of strategic importance for coordinating Russian shelling of the right bank of the Dnieper River and southern Ukraine.
  6. ^ "Key Ukraine naval base unbowed despite Russian onslaught". france24.com. France 24. 12 December 2022. Retrieved 13 December 2022. After failing to seize the port and its naval base, Russian troops have been pummelling Ochakiv from the nearby Kinburn peninsula.
  7. ^ a b c Hird, Karolina; Mappes, Grace; Bailey, Riley; Philipson, Layne; Klepanchuk, Yekaterina; Williams, Madison; Kagan, Frederick W. (21 November 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 21". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Ukrainian forces strike Russian HQ in Kherson region, kill over 30 invaders, destroy two tanks". ukrinform.net. Ukrinform. 12 November 2022. Retrieved 19 November 2022. From the Kinburn Spit, the enemy used a Grad system to fire at the Kutsurub community of the Mykolaiv region.
  9. ^ a b "Armed Forces of Ukraine eliminate 43 invaders, five ammo depots in south". ukrinform.net. Ukrinform. 26 September 2022. Retrieved 22 November 2022. In addition, five ammunition depots were destroyed: in Bezimenne, Ternovi Pody, Kalynivka, and on the Kinburn Spit.
  10. ^ a b Stepanenko, Kateryna; Lawlor, Katherine; Barros, George; Bailey, Riley; Kagan, Frederick W. (26 September 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, September 26". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Unique plants in the south of Ukraine may become extinct because of the war". uacrisis.org. Ukraine Crisis Media Center. 23 December 2022. Retrieved 29 December 2022. Oleksiy Vasyliuk, head of the NGO Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group, said that there are unique plants on the Kinburn Spit that grow only there and nowhere else on the planet, for example, two cornflower species – Сentaurea breviceps and Сentaurea Paczoskii.
  12. ^ a b Cundy, Antonia (7 June 2022). "Dead dolphins: how nature became another casualty of the Ukraine war". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  13. ^ Kottasová, Ivana (22 May 2022). "Ukraine's natural environment is another casualty of war. The damage could be felt for decades". cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved 24 November 2022. Precious perennial forests and salt marshes in the Kinburn Spit Reserve in the Mykolaiv region were on fire for more than a week, its unique habitats were left devastated, according to Zinoviy Petrovich, the head of Kinburn Spit Reserve.
  14. ^ "Ukraine's Armed Forces strike enemy base on Kinburn Spit". ukrinform.net. Ukrinform. 19 September 2022. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  15. ^ Midttun, Hans Petter (12 November 2022). "Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 262: Ukrainian defense forces liberate Kherson city". euromaidanpress.com. Euromaidan Press. Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  16. ^ Mirovalev, Mansur (11 November 2022). "Russia's Kherson retreat marks tectonic shift in Ukraine war". aljazeera.com. Aljazeera. Retrieved 19 November 2022. But navigation is so far impossible as Russia controls the Kinburn Spit, its last toehold in the southern Mykolaiv region, that blocks the way from the Dnieper to the Black Sea and farther into the Mediterranean, Kushch said.
  17. ^ a b Stepanenko, Kateryna; Hird, Karolina; Philipson, Layne; Howard, Angela; Klepanchuk, Yekaterina; Williams, Madison; Kagan, Frederick W. (14 November 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 14". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  18. ^ Axe, David (15 November 2022). "The Zaporizhzhia Left Hook: How The Ukrainian Army Could Get Behind The Dnieper River And Roll Up Thousands Of Russian Troops". Forbes. Retrieved 17 November 2022. The Ukrainians' southern push mostly has paused on the Dnipro's right bank, although there are signs that Ukrainian special operations forces have used small boats to cross the mouth of the Dnipro and reconnoiter the Kinburn Spit
  19. ^ Vanian, Roman (15 November 2022). "AFU refutes liberation of Oleshky and Kinburn Spit". ukranews.com. Ukrainian News Agency. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  20. ^ a b "Ukrainian rocket and artillery units attacked Kinburn Spit, Nova Kakhovka, Oleshky in occupied south – OpCommand South". euromaidanpress.com. Euromaidan Press. 16 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  21. ^ "Ukrainian forces open fire on invaders on left bank of Dnipro River, near Kinburn Spit". ukrinform.net. Ukrinform. 16 November 2022. Retrieved 19 November 2022. In total, the military completed more than 50 fire missions., [sic] killing 17 Russian occupiers, destroying and damaged 15 armored vehicles, two self-propelled artillery pieces and an Orlan-10 reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle.
  22. ^ a b Kuczyński, Grzegorz (23 November 2022). "Ukraine Launches Assault On The Strategic Kinburn Peninsula". warsawinstitute.org. Warsaw Institute. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  23. ^ Lewis, Kaitlin (18 November 2022). "Ukraine Destroys Russian 'Base Point' at Kinburn Spit: Report". newsweek.com. Newsweek. Retrieved 26 November 2022. Ukraine's military reported that its attack 'demilitarized seven Russians and two auto armor units,' adding that the 'base point' had been 'destroyed.'
  24. ^ a b "Ukraine's operation to liberate Kinburn Spit continues - Humeniuk". ukrinform.net. Ukrinform. 22 November 2022. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  25. ^ Stepanenko, Kateryna; Bailey, Riley; Hird, Karolina; Williams, Madison; Klepanchuk, Yekaterina; Carl, Nicholas; Kagan, Frederick W. (22 November 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 22". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 26 November 2022. Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security also reported that Ukrainian forces are continuing to carry out unspecified operations on the Kinburn Spit, but specified that Russian forces are still holding positions at the spit.
  26. ^ Hird, Karolina; Bailey, Riley; Mappes, Grace; Howard, Angela; Kagan, Frederick W. (26 November 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 26". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 5 December 2022. Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces shelled Ochakiv, less than 5km north of the Kinburn Spit.
  27. ^ Mappes, Grace; Kagan, Frederick W. (27 November 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 27". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  28. ^ Zubkova, Dasha (28 November 2022). "Military Operation On Kinburn Spit Of Mykolaiv Region Continues - Operational Command South". ukranews.com. Ukrainian News Agency. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  29. ^ "No civilians left on Kinburn Spit, only invaders". news.yahoo.com. Yahoo! News. 9 December 2022. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  30. ^ Hird, Karolina; Bailey, Riley; Williams, Madison; Klepanchuk, Yekaterina; Kagan, Frederick W. (30 November 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 30". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 5 December 2022. Mykolaiv Oblast Head Vitaly Kim announced on November 30 that Ukrainian forces are conducting an operation on the Kinburn Spit under informational silence conditions. Kim also stated that Russian forces forcibly removed residents from the Kinburn Spit on November 28.
  31. ^ "Russians forcibly deport 37 local residents from Kinburn Spit". news.yahoo.com. Yahoo! News. Ukrayinska Pravda. 30 November 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  32. ^ O'Callaghan, Laura; Rose, Sunniva (1 December 2022). "Sergey Lavrov says US role in Ukraine war poses existential threat to Russia". thenationalnews.com. The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 5 December 2022. Vitalii Kim, the head of Mykolaiv Oblast's military administration, said […] "the occupiers forcibly deported people from the settlements of the Kinburn Spit", adding that 37 locals had been expelled.
  33. ^ Stepanenko, Kateryna; Bailey, Riley; Barros, George; Williams, Madison; Kagan, Frederick W. (24 December 2022). "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, December 24". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  34. ^ РЛП "Кінбурнська коса": регіональний ландшафтний парк [RLP "Kinburnska spit": regional landscape park]. Kinburn (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 2 November 2012.
  35. ^ Žil·cov, avtory i sost. S.R. Grineveckij, I.S. Zonn, S.S. (2006). Černomorskaja ėnciklopedija [The Black Sea Encyclopedia]. Moskva. ISBN 5-7133-1273-9. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  36. ^ Kinb Pers Zbal Rozv [dead link]
  37. ^ Ramsar wetlands list www.ramsar.org

External links[edit]