In a major setback, Russia orders a retreat from Kherson City, Ukraine
Ukraine responded to Wednesday’s announcement with caution, stating that some Russian military were still in Kherson and that more Russian personnel were being transported to the area.
Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister, issued an order for his soldiers to leave the west bank of the Dnipro River close to the important Ukrainian city of Kherson, which was a major defeat for Moscow and possibly a turning point in the conflict.
Following the declaration on Wednesday, Ukraine expressed caution, claiming that some Russian military remained in Kherson and that more Russian personnel were being transferred to the area.
Until the Ukrainian flag is flying over Kherson, Mykhailo Podolyak, a top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a statement to Media, “It makes no sense to talk about a Russian pullout.”
A Ukrainian counteroffensive has been directed towards Kherson city because it was the sole regional capital that Russia had conquered following its invasion in February. Both the mouth of the Dnipro, a river that divides Ukraine, and the only land access point to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, are under the jurisdiction of the city. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of civilians have been evacuated by Russian-installed authority.
Kherson region is one of four that President Vladimir Putin stated he was bringing into Russia “forever” in September and that Moscow claimed was now under its nuclear watch.
Shoigu was informed by General Sergei Surovikin, who was in charge of the war overall, that Kherson city could no longer be supplied. On the eastern side of the Dnipro River, he claimed, he suggested setting up defensive positions.
“I agree with your views and ideas,” Shoigu said to Surovikin. The lives and well-being of the Russian military are always of the utmost importance to us. Threats to the civilian population must also be taken into consideration.
Take all necessary steps to ensure the secure transit of personnel, weapons, and equipment over the Dnipro River as you proceed with the retreat of the troops.
According to Zelenskiy, Ukrainian soldiers were “step by step” bolstering their positions in the south.
Zelenskyy stated, mentioning Kherson only once in his five-minute speech, “The adversary will make no gifts to us. There is a lot of glee in the information sphere today, and it is evident why.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to leave Kherson, according to US Vice President Joe Biden, is “proof of the fact that they have some significant problems with the Russian military.”
After Tuesday’s midterm elections, in which his Democratic Party fared better than anticipated, Biden expressed his optimism that Democrats and Republicans will maintain their bipartisan strategy for addressing Russia’s aggressiveness in Ukraine.
SHAKING IN THE SOUTH
The Kherson region and its capital were not specifically mentioned in the Ukrainian military’s routine evening announcement on Wednesday. On the southern front along the line of contact, Russian forces reportedly shelled more than 25 towns and villages, while more than 50 drone surveillance missions were conducted.
Although a military operation was underway in the Kherson region, according to Ukrainian lawmaker David Arakhamia, who led Kyiv’s team to peace talks prior to Russia’s incursion.
He characterized the Russians’ predicament as dire and said that “sooner or later, they will either leave Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Sevastopol (in Crimea), or they will be destroyed.”
According to military analysts, if Ukrainian forces occupy the entire west bank of the Dnipro, their HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and long-range artillery from the US would be able to hit Russian positions and logistical hubs on the east side.
But in addition to potentially encountering several booby traps, the Ukrainians might also come under heavy Russian artillery fire.
While in London, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his appreciation for the news from Kherson while also sounding a note of caution.
We shouldn’t undervalue Russia because they still have the capability, he said Sky News. We have observed the use of drones and missile attacks, which demonstrate Russia’s continued ability to cause significant harm.
The death of Kirill Stremousov, Moscow’s second-ranking official in Kherson, on Wednesday in what Moscow claimed was a car accident, added to the sense of Russian chaos there.
DECISION BY THE RUSSIAN WAR HAWKS
The decision to withdraw from Kherson city was quickly supported by Russia’s top war hawks on Wednesday, putting a brave face on one of Moscow’s most humiliating withdrawals in the conflict’s nearly nine-month duration.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader who has long called for a more forceful approach to the war, said that General Surovikin made the difficult but correct choice between mindless sacrifices for the sake of loud comments and sparing the irreplaceable lives of soldiers.