Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Putin Plays for Time as Russian Forces Fall Back in Ukraine; Russian Military Officials Flee Key Port City Ahead of Counterattack; A Challenge for Ukraine Is How to Retake Kherson Without Destroying It; Ukrainian Forces Down 16 Kamikaze Drones Overnight, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: LIBKOS/Associated Press
WSJ: Vladimir Putin Plays for Time as Russian Forces Fall Back in Ukraine:
Kremlin hopes winter will provide a chance to reinforce and regroup
Russia’s Vladimir Putin is aggressively trying to prevent further losses in Ukraine by bombarding critical infrastructure and to avert disquiet at home by tightening social controls.
The goal: hold on until the winter can give him enough pause to reboot his bogged-down invasion.
Mr. Putin’s war effort has generated pressure that presents the biggest threat to his 23-year rule in Russia. They include the bite of Western sanctions, shrinking government revenue, an exhausted military and a public irked by a widening conflict in Ukraine in which few wanted to fight.
Barring a collapse of Russian forces in Ukraine that military experts call unlikely, Mr. Putin for now appears secure in power. Nevertheless, he needs to keep the military campaign from backsliding so he can avoid the kind of major defeat that could cause his Kremlin elite to lose confidence in his rule and ignite power struggles.
Winter could slow Kyiv’s offensive in southern Ukraine, which now threatens to deal Moscow a new major defeat as it closes in on the Russian-occupied regional capital of Kherson. Moscow hopes winter will also bring new strains to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as the cutoff of Russian gas earlier this year drives up energy prices and threatens to chill homes in Europe.
“In time, they are hoping these pressures might lead the Europeans to crack and start pushing Ukraine to make some kind of deal” with Russia, said Thomas Graham, a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Russian military planners have for centuries looked upon winter as an ally that helped vanquish invaders from Napoleon to the Nazis. Whether this winter could provide a respite for Mr. Putin is an open question, according to military experts. --->READ MORE HERE
NY POST: Russian military officials flee key port city ahead of counterattack:
Russian military leaders have reportedly withdrawn from the illegally annexed port city of Kherson ahead of a counteroffensive by Ukraine.
The invading army left behind newly conscripted soldiers to slow the impending attack, according to a Sunday report from the Institute for the Study of War think tank.
The withdrawal came a day after Russian authorities installed in the key Ukraine city told residents to evacuate. More than 20,000 civilians had left, fleeing along the left bank of the Dnieper River, according to a Russian administration official.
As Ukraine forces threatened on the river’s right bank, a Russian line of defense had “been reinforced and the situation has remained stable,” according to deputy administrator Kirill Stremousov.
Ukraine forces said they had deployed 17 air strike counteroffensives in the eastern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions after they’d been annexed by President Vladimir Putin last month in a sham election along with two other provinces. The Ukrainian military also said Sunday it had destroyed 14 Iranian-made Russian drones over the weekend. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

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