Russian withdrawal from Kherson, a major success for Ukrainian army

The Ukrainian army achieved major success in the South with the Russian withdrawal from Kherson. The Russian army claims to have started withdrawing its soldiers from the right bank of the Dnipro. According to French expert Ulrich Bounat, who was interviewed by FranceInfo, the recapture of Kherson would be one of Ukraine’s greatest triumphs to date.

Photo: Associated Press

Shoigu made a sensational statement 

Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister, made a sensational statement: “Proceed with the withdrawal of soldiers.” On November 10, the Russian General Staff started to leave the Kherson region to clear the right bank of the Dnipro River.

For its part, the Ukrainian army says that it has gained control of Snihourivka, a town located 50 kilometers north of the regional center, as well as eleven additional settlements, totaling little over 260 square kilometers. What drove the Russian action? Ulrich Bounat, a geopolitical analyst, spoke to FranceInfo.


Russians were forced to leave Kherson – Bounat

“Although the timing and style of this withdrawal’s announcement were uncertain, it was predicted. Russians could not sustain their foothold on the western bank of the Dnipro in the long run. The three bridges that allowed Russian forces to be supplied were now inaccessible. Although there existed a barge system, it was largely chaotic. The cautious but persistent Ukrainian advance put the Russian forces under pressure. It was evident that the Russian troops would leave from a military perspective.”

“This announcement was staged, but what is shocking is the absence of Vladimir Putin, who does not wish to be associated with this decision. From a Russian point of view, this is the abandonment of their territory. Russia could suffer greatly as a result of this decision. Although Choigou and Surovikin’s discussion is very long, the section about Kherson merely lasts fifteen to twenty seconds to reduce the retreat’s negative media coverage.”

“I don’t believe Ukrainian forces will make a significant, quick move toward Kherson. Numerous structures have been demolished as part of the carefully planned Russian departure. In addition, various items will be mined and trapped in the city. Therefore, the Ukrainian soldiers must move at a slow rate. In conclusion, Kherson won’t be immediately taken back, especially with Russian artillery still stationed on the eastern bank.”

“Since the start of the war, Russia has frequently said one thing while doing the exact opposite. As a result, Ukrainians are skeptical of everything that originates from the Kremlin. But from a military perspective, it is obvious that all the prerequisites for a pullout have been met. Since the Ukrainians are aware that the recapture of Kherson won’t happen quickly, Kyiv is likely taking a stance in which it emphasizes a message of caution. This is a strategy to contain their enthusiasm and prevent them from declaring victory too soon.”

“It was a major victory for the Ukrainian army, probably even greater than that achieved in the Kharkiv region, as it was the largest city held by the Russians. However, from a military perspective, we will return to a region with a natural barrier that is challenging to pass and is more or less solid. Since the Russians already believed the region to be lost in the long run, this will not significantly change the course of the war. The symbolism is nevertheless extremely powerful.”

Russians were forced to flee – Hromov

“Just as the enemy withdrew from Kyiv, Kharkiv region, and left Zmiinyi island, the probable withdrawal from Kherson is the result of our active actions. This was stated by the Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov at a briefing on November 10.

Directly in the Kherson direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces destroyed the enemy’s logistics routes and supply system and disrupted its command and control system. Thus, they left the enemy no choice but to flee, he said.

ISW: Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson region was successful

The Institute of the study of war reported, that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the direction of Kherson since August, which consisted of a planned interdiction effort to compel Russian forces to cross the Dnipro without the need for significant Ukrainian land offensives, was successful. Ukrainian forces engaged in a deliberate and well-executed campaign to target Russian concentration areas, military assets, and logistics nodes throughout Kherson Oblast to render continued Russian positions on the west bank untenable without the need for large-scale and expensive ground maneuvers to liberate territory.

The ISW says that it is improbable that the Russian pullback from the Dnipro’s west bank is a trap to draw Ukrainian forces into an expensive battle close to Kherson City, as some Ukrainian and Western outlets have claimed. ISW has previously noted numerous signs that Russian forces, assets, and occupation forces have been gradually leaving the west bank of the Dnipro River, and Russian officials have been making preparations for this withdrawal in a way that is incompatible with an operation to trick and trap Ukrainian troops.

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