Saturday, November 12, 2022

Russia Orders Withdrawal From Kherson, Only Regional Ukrainian Capital It Held; Russian Forces Retreat Embarrassing Setback; Ukrainian Troops Reportedly Enter Snihurivka as Russia Announces Retreat from Kherson; Israeli Military Analyst: 70% of Russia's Black Sea Fleet is incapacitated, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters
WSJ: Russia Orders Withdrawal From Kherson, Only Regional Ukrainian Capital It Held:
Ukrainian forces have advanced town by town on the city in recent weeks, cutting off thousands of Russian troops
Russia announced a withdrawal of its troops from the southern city of Kherson and surrounding areas, the only regional capital that Moscow had seized since its invasion in February.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered Russian forces to withdraw to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River at a meeting with the top Russian commander in Ukraine, Gen. Sergei Surovikin. Gen. Surovikin said the troops would leave in the coming days and take up positions on a new defensive line that had been prepared along the eastern bank of the river.
Ukrainian officials expressed caution over the statements, saying Russia could be bluffing and that significant Russian forces remained in Kherson.
“The enemy doesn’t give us gifts,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address. “We are moving very carefully, without emotion, without unnecessary risks.”
Still, residents of Kherson said in interviews that Russia’s military had disappeared from the city in recent days.
Ukrainian forces have advanced town by town on Kherson in recent weeks, using long-range artillery to strike bridges across the Dnipro and largely cut off thousands of Russian troops in and around the city.
The apparent Ukrainian success in Kherson is the latest in a series of reversals for Russia. Ukraine repelled Russian forces from Kyiv in March, halted Russian advances in the east in the summer then took back swaths of the northeast in a lightning offensive in September.
A victory would boost Ukraine and its Western backers ahead of winter, when the intensity of combat is expected to fall. Russia has targeted Ukrainian civilian infrastructure in recent weeks, causing blackouts in cities across the country and raising concerns of a cold, harsh winter. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo, File
Russian forces retreat from key city of Kherson in embarrassing setback:
Russian military commanders said Wednesday that their troops will retreat from the Ukrainian city of Kherson and set up defensive lines on the other side of the Dnieper River, marking perhaps the most embarrassing defeat for Moscow so far in eight months of war and fueling hope that Ukraine might recapture the bulk of its territory now in the hands of Russia and pro-Moscow separatist groups.
It was a strategic and symbolic retreat. Kherson was one of the first major Ukrainian cities to fall to Russian forces in the days after the Feb. 24 invasion and was the only regional capital still in the Kremlin’s hands.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the withdrawal from Kherson after a meeting Wednesday with Gen. Sergei Surovikin, who leads Russia’s integrated forces in Ukraine. While Ukrainian officials quickly cast doubt on the sincerity of the announcement, Gen. Surovikin painted a bleak picture for Russian troops in Kherson, a city of about 280,000.
He said Russian troops could face “complete isolation” amid a Ukrainian counterattack that has pummeled Russian supply lines over the past several weeks. He pleaded with Gen. Shoigu to reposition forces rather than fight a losing battle in Kherson.
“I understand that this is a very uneasy decision. At the same time, we will preserve … the lives of our service men and, as a whole, the combat capability of the group of forces,” he said, according to Russia’s state-run Tass news agency. “In addition, this will release a part of forces and capabilities that will be involved in active operations, including for offensives in other directions in the zone of the operation.”
Mr. Shoigu agreed with the recommendation and ordered the withdrawal for “the life and health of Russian service men” inside the city. Russian media portrayed the move as a full withdrawal, with Russian personnel, vehicles, armaments and hardware being pulled from the city.
For Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s arguably the most humiliating setback so far in his Ukraine campaign. The city of Kherson is in a province of the same name, one of four provinces that Mr. Putin in September claimed to have “annexed” into Russia. Virtually every government on the planet rejected that supposed annexation, but the move signaled that Moscow was prepared to fight tooth and nail to control Kherson and other territories in southeastern Ukraine. --->READ MORE HERE
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