Following the Red Army’s successful defence of Kursk, it maintained momentum across the Ukraine and closed in on Kiev. The major obstacle stopping it from launching a quick attack into the city was the Dnieper River, which was difficult to cross because of its width and raised terrain along sections of its western bank. The Germans had destroyed all the bridges across the river during their retreat and had concentrated their defending forces on the western bank. The Red Army established key bridgeheads and ground was gradually taken around Kiev. Fierce fighting erupted on 3 November as the Germans were pummelled by artillery fire and the Soviets cleared Kiev street by street. Soviet troops moved towards Fastov where they were met by German Panzer reinforcements on 11 November. The Soviet offensive began to slow as the supply lines over the Dnieper became congested and the Germans had time to regroup.
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