Just over a week ago, Ukrainians celebrated the Day of Liberation from Nazi Invaders, a national holiday dedicated to the expulsion of the troops of Nazi Germany and its allies from the modern territory of Ukraine during World War II.
On November 6, Kyiv annually celebrates the day of the liberation of the Ukrainian capital from the Nazi invaders. It was on this day in 1943 that the troops of the First Ukrainian Front under the command of General Vatutin and the First Separate Czechoslovak Brigade under the command of Colonel Ludvík Svoboda took control of the city, and a bridgehead was created for the further liberation of right-bank Ukraine.
How Kyiv was liberated
At the end of September 1943, Soviet troops crossed the Dnipro River near Kyiv and captured two bridgeheads on the right bank: to the north of the city - on the Lyutizh -Vyshhorod line and to the south - in the area of Velykyi Bukryn.
The offensive of Soviet troops, launched on October 12-15 and October 21-23 from the Bukryn bridgehead by the troops of the 40th, 27th, and 3rd Guards Tank Armies, was not successful, since the small size of the bridgehead made it difficult to concentrate troops and military hardware, and the enemy had a strong defense. At the same time, the troops of the 38th Army, which operated in the direction of the auxiliary strike, somewhat expanded the Lyutizh bridgehead. Based on this, the Headquarters ordered the Military Council of the First Ukrainian Front to transfer the main attack to the Lyutizh bridgehead.
On November 1, the troops of the 40th and 27th armies went on the offensive from the Bukryn bridgehead, which diverted the enemy's reserves. On November 3, after a powerful artillery barrage and airstrikes from the 2nd Air Army, the troops of the 38th Army and the 5th Guards Tank Corps delivered the main blow from the Lyutizh bridgehead and broke through the enemy defenses to a depth of 5-12 km. To develop the offensive on November 4, the 3rd Guards Tank Army was brought into battle, which cut the Kyiv-Zhytomyr highway on the western outskirts of Kyiv, and the 1st Guards Cavalry Corps.
By the end of November 4, Soviet troops were able to advance to Kyiv from the north by 5-6 km, reaching the suburb of Priorka and the northern border of the city.
The liberation of the capital was also helped by the crossing of the Dnipro River on November 4 by the forces of the 237th rifle division in the area of Kozachy Island, which is opposite the villages of Vita-Litovska and Pyrohiv, located 15 km south of Kiev.
On the night of November 6, 1943, the troops of the First Ukrainian Front (including the 1st Separate Czechoslovak Infantry Brigade) entered the almost empty burning city.
The result and significance of the operation on liberation of Kyiv
As a result of the Kyiv offensive operation, the enemy's Kyiv grouping was defeated (15 German divisions were defeated), the Nazi invaders were expelled from the city and a strategic bridgehead was created in this area, which played an important role in the battles for right-bank Ukraine.
The victory of Soviet troops during the battles for Kyiv was strategically important and influenced the further course of the war, but it was very expensive - more than 30,500 Soviet soldiers were killed, wounded or missing, while the enemy's losses amounted to 3,800 soldiers.
As a result of the operation, 17,500 soldiers and commanders of the Soviet army were awarded orders and medals for courage and heroism. The metro station " Heroiv Dnipra” (Heroes of Dnipro) was later named in their honor.