Russia abandons Ukrainian city of Kherson in major retreat

Date:

LONDON, Nov. 9 (Reuters) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday ordered his troops to withdraw from the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson and take defense lines across the Dnipro River.

The announcement marked one of Russia’s major withdrawals and a potential turning point in the war, now approaching its ninth month end.

In televised comments, General Sergei Surovikin, who was in command of the war, informed Shoigu that it was no longer possible to supply the city of Kherson.

“After a comprehensive assessment of the current situation, it is proposed to include defenses along the left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro River,” said Surovikin, standing at a lectern and indicating the troop positions on a map with details in gray. were for the TV audience.

“I understand that this is a very difficult decision, but at the same time we will preserve the most important thing – the lives of our soldiers and, in general, the combat effectiveness of the group of troops, of which it is pointless to continue on the right bank in a limited area.”

The news followed weeks of Ukrainian advances into the city and a race by Russia to displace more than 100,000 of its residents by taking them across the river.

Kherson is the main city of the region of the same name — one of four Ukrainian regions that President Vladimir Putin declared in September he would incorporate “forever” into Russia and which the Kremlin said had now been placed under Moscow’s nuclear umbrella.

Shoigu told Surovikin: “I agree with your conclusions and proposals. For us, the life and health of Russian soldiers is always a priority. We also have to consider the threats to the civilian population.

“Continue with the withdrawal of troops and take all measures to ensure the safe transfer of personnel, weapons and equipment across the Dnipro River.”

The announcement had been anticipated by Russia’s influential war bloggers, who described it as a bitter blow.

“Apparently we will leave town, as painful as it is to write about it now,” according to the War Gonzo blog, which has more than 1.3 million subscribers on Telegram.

“In simple terms, Kherson cannot be held with bare hands,” it said. “Yes, this is a black page in the history of the Russian army. Of the Russian state. A tragic page.”

Adding to the sense of Russian disorder in Kherson, the number two Moscow official there, Kirill Stremousov, was killed in a car accident on Wednesday.

Stremousov was one of the most prominent faces of the Russian occupation. Ukraine considered him a collaborator and a traitor.

In a video statement just hours before his death, Stremousov denounced what he called Ukrainian “Nazis” and said the Russian military was “completely in control” of the situation in the south.

Reporting by Reuters; Written by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Jon Boyle and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Mark Trevelyan

Thomson Reuters

Main writer on Russia and CIS. Worked as a journalist on 7 continents, reporting from 40+ countries, with postings in London, Wellington, Brussels, Warsaw, Moscow and Berlin. Covered the breakup of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Security correspondent from 2003 to 2008. Speaks French, Russian and (rusty) German and Polish.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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