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Russian Retreat from Kherson • Kherson Turning Point

August 16, 2022 – The Ukraine war seems to be entering a new phase, with Ukraine launching military strikes deep in Russian-held territory and a major counter-offensive said to be in the works. Terence McKenna lays out what’s happened and how Russia is responding.

October 4, 2022 – Russian defense ministry maps show rapid pullbacks in the key Kherson region amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his troops are making ‘rapid and powerful’ progress against Russian forces in the south and east. Al Jazeera’s @Charles Stratford travelled with one of the units that is part of the counteroffensive in eastern Ukraine.

October 14, 2022 – Ukrainian forces counterattacked in Kherson and Kharkiv. Supply chain issues, inflation, and a possible global recession are looming all over the world as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues to rage on.

Russia was expected to run over Ukraine and have a convincing win within a few months, but the world is witnessing the strength of Ukraine and the NATO countries who have funded the war for Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian invasion. On September 6, 2022, Ukraine launched its counterattack that aims to retake some of the territories that Russia conquered earlier.

This successful counterattack has made headlines, in fact, Ukraine was able to reclaim about 7% of its lost homeland. We discuss why Ukraine was successful, and how Russia played into Ukraine’s victory by handcuffing itself and allowing Ukraine to exploit this self-imposed handicap.

October 24, 2022 – Kherson offensive: will it become a turning point in this war? How quickly can Ukraine regain control of the city? Can Russia retreat or will it fight in urban battles? What does evacuation from Kherson actually mean? And what scenarios do military experts suggest?

November 10, 2022 – Could this be a turning point in the war between Russia and Ukraine? Ukrainian forces have advanced towards Kherson after the Russian army announced it was retreating from the southern city. Russian logistical routes and supply systems have been destroyed by their Ukrainian enemies. But the Ukrainians themselves remain cautious about declaring any victory here, fearing it could all be part of a trap.

November 10, 2022 – Ukraine continues to press its offensive in the south, as Russia begins its withdrawal from the strategic city of Kherson. As the U.S. sends its 25th package of arms and military aid to Ukraine, Charles Kupchan and Evelyn Farkas join Nick Schifrin to discuss if the U.S. should be emphasizing diplomacy to find an end to the war.

November 10, 2022 – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered his troops to withdraw from the southern city of Kherson on Wednesday, marking a significant retreat for Russia. The city of Kherson is situated to the north of the Dnipro River on the right bank. Defense Minister Shoigu and General Sergey Surovikin said that troops should regroup on the other side of the river, as Ukrainian forces advance.

“Having comprehensively assessed the current situation, it is proposed to take up defense along the left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro River,” said Surovikin in a televised briefing. Surovikin said that it was no longer possible to deliver supplies to the city of Kherson and other areas on the right bank of the river. Shoigu agreed with his proposal to retreat and set up defenses on the other side.

“Proceed with the withdrawal of troops and take all measures to ensure the safe transfer of personnel, weapons and equipment across the Dnipro River,” Shoigu told Surovikin. Shoigu was on a visit to the region for briefings with military commanders.

November 10, 2022 – Russia’s Defense Ministry says its troops are preparing to withdraw from a large part of the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson. CNN’s Nic Robertson has more.

November 10, 2022 – Yesterday, November 9, Russia announced that it would be withdrawing from Kherson City, the western most part of the front line and a key strategic position. How did Ukraine force Russia’s hand? This video explains the three phases of the counterattack, and how Ukraine’s moves over the last two months gave Russia little alternative.

0:00 The Counterattack So Far
0:49 The Kherson Feint
2:58 Logistics Sabotage
5:35 Russia’s Dilemma
7:49 Materiel Gains
8:50 The Canal Question
9:44 Dam Problems
11:02 Ukraine’s Next Move

November 11, 2022 – Ukrainian troops have reclaimed dozens of landmine-littered settlements abandoned by Russian forces in southern Ukraine, officials said, the day after Moscow announced its withdrawal from the strategic capital city of Kherson.

As Ukrainian troops close in on Kherson, FRANCE 24 is joined by Lieutenant General Michel Yakovleff, Professor at Sciences-Po and Former Vice-Chief of Staff at NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (Shape). “The Ukrainians will need time to take stock,” explains Lieutenant General Yakovleff,” and measure and exploit the degree of victory they will have achieved.”

November 11, 2022 – Ukraine said Friday its forces were entering the southern city of Kherson after Russia announced its troops had retreated to defensive positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. “Kherson is returning to Ukrainian control and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are entering the city,” the Ukrainian defense ministry said on social media. FRANCE 24’s Senior Reporter Catherine Norris Trent tells us more.

November 12, 2022 – Crowds have been out on the streets of newly liberated Kherson for a second day – hugging soldiers, waving flags and singing the Ukrainian anthem to celebrate the end of months of Russian occupation.

November 13, 2022

Kherson is without electricity, water, and natural gas supply, but for the third day there is a disco on the main square. The city is in darkness because the retreating Russians hit the power lines. There is no communication. Only the Russian cell phone services are working, and only on the embankment near the Dnipro, which is now the front line.

It’s quiet in Kherson, but in the morning, residents still hear incoming hits from the left bank to the right bank – on the outskirts of Kherson. Locals understand that Kherson can still be shelled from the Russian occupied part of the region on the left bank of the Dnipro. But residents of Kherson say that the worst is over for them, in particular the 255 days of Russian occupation.

“The worst thing was if they forgot about us. We were not afraid when something was blown up, because it meant that the Armed Forces were somewhere nearby. We were afraid when it was quiet, because it could mean that they forgot about us,” says a resident of Kherson. The man hugs the soldiers who came to the square to greet them. “Remember them. They are the liberators,” he says to us in the camera.

November 13, 2022 – Amid more joyous scenes at their freedom from Russian occupation – the governor of the newly liberated Ukrainian city of Kherson has urged residents to avoid crowded places – warning “the enemy has mined nearly everything.”

November 20, 2022 – While much of the narrative around the early stages of Russia’s 2022 invasion center on the battle for Kyiv and the reverses Russia suffered there, in the South, the Russian invasion was altogether more successful in its opening moves. Advancing from Crimea, the Russians rapidly secured a number of critical positions in the South of the country, including a regional capital on the right bank of the Dnipro, the city of Kherson.

The fighting to take back Kherson would be some of the hardest for Ukrainian forces. They would face a number of high-quality Russian units who were heavily dug in, and they would do it over unfavorable ground. The fighting would take months and claim many lines before the final Russian withdrawal in November. This is the story of that campaign – from the city’s fall to its liberation, along with some of the lessons and observations that we can (with admittedly low confidence levels) make using the data available so far.

Caveats: Data quality and certainty will always vary video to video. In the case of this video, the topic in question is battlefield movements and the conduct of operations. As such, there is a considerably lower level of confidence than there are over major economic patterns for example. I expect that at least some of this analysis will be refuted or augmented by later discoveries or data releases – at which point I will prepare an update. But given the implications of this campaign, I thought it best to try and tell the story now, with the best information we currently have available.

December 12, 2022 – Kherson in southern Ukraine was liberated in November after months of Russian occupation. But the city’s renewed freedom has brought a new reality as Russian troops switch from being occupiers to attackers, launching deadly rocket and mortar strikes daily. Adding to the misery, the city is suffering from power outages, a lack of running water and many residents are reliant upon food handouts to survive.

December 24, 2022 – Ukraine says at least seven people have been killed and more than 50 injured after a Russian strike on a market in the southern city of Kherson. President Vlodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the attack, saying there were no military facilities located in the area. He has warned that Russia could be planning more attacks during the holidays. The Kremlin has previously said there are no plans for a ceasefire during the period.

December 27, 2022 – “Putin’s Christmas gift” – ammunition thrown away by Russians in Kherson transported to the front in cars.

February 24, 2023 – The city of Kherson, in east Ukraine, is ‘eerily quiet’ on one-year anniversary of Russian invasion says FRANCE 24’s Catherine Norris-Trent. The city was occupied by Russian forces for eight months after the invasion. Even though it has since been reclaimed by Ukraine, the city is still subject to frequent Russian missile strikes and many residents have left.

February 26, 2023 – Kherson, Ukraine, was the only regional capital captured by Russian forces. They held the city until November and now terrorize it with artillery attacks from positions nearby.

February 27, 2023 – Kherson was captured just one week into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The occupiers cracked down brutally on the population. Many were tortured. When the city was liberated after eight long months, it was a huge victory. But peace still feels very far away.

March 30, 2023 – Kherson was liberated from Russian occupation in November 2022 by Ukrainian forces, sparking ecstatic scenes in the main square. But with Russian troops retreating just over the Dniepro river, joy has quickly turned to nightmare, with the city suffering daily bombardment by mortars, missiles and even tank shells. Simply surviving each day has become a matter of luck and many civilians have fled. The Guardian’s Luke Harding and Christopher Cherry speak to remaining residents to find out what life is like among the awful booms of artillery fire, and why they have chosen to stay.

April 24, 2023 – The freshest reports suggest that Russians decided not to wait until Ukrainians launch their offensive and launched a series of attacks first. As a result, Russian forces managed to increase their bridgehead in front of Dorozhnianka and Marfopil. Closer positions also allowed Russians to start targeting Ukrainian positions in the unnamed settlement in front of Marfopil. The main goal of these actions is to not give Ukrainians enough time to prepare and force Ukrainians to engage the accumulated forces prematurely. And Russian sources are reporting significant concentrations of troops, namely up to 10 thousand assaultmen only around Huliapole. In the Kherson region, Ukrainians have increased their bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River to the point where many Russian sources started raising the alarm.

Previously, Russian forces continued to occupy and establish observation posts in the residential areas of the islands in the Dnipro River’s delta. The first clashes for control over the islands started when Russians attacked the bridge to Karantynyi Island. This did not help, as Ukrainians gradually pushed Russians from the Velykyi Potiomkin Island. Shortly, Ukrainians also established control over the proximate island with a lot of places for docking. However, the biggest news by far became the fact that Ukrainians are present in the residential area of one of the biggest and most important islands in the region – the so-called Antonivsky Island. Such substantial control over the eastern bank of the river gives a lot of freedom for the Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups.

This 20-km wide bridgehead is already hard to control, so if Ukrainians establish control over the remaining residential areas and get closer to the mainland, then a lot of Ukrainian sabotage teams will slip through and assist in the main phase of the counteroffensive operation by destroying strategic objects and critical railways and bridges. Several days ago, Ukrainians also made the third test of their ballistic missile system Hrim-2. The target became an unspecified object in Kerch. The rocket was shot down, but everyone understands that this is just a test, and the real attack would be concealed behind a massive drone and missile strike. The most important takeaway is that Ukrainians established at least three positions for launching ballistic missiles: Odesa, Kherson, and Zaporizhia.

The targets of the strikes were also objects in the vicinity of critical ground lines of communication, such as the Crimean Bridge and crucial railway stations in other cases. And Ukrainians continue launching drones on Crimea as well. Today, two drones hit the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. Military analysts are saying that the main goal of these seemingly ineffective drone attacks in small groups is to keep their finger on the pulse and understand the current disposition and capabilities of the Russian air defense. Ideally, Ukrainian commanders should see a decrease in the air defense density because Ukrainians took significant steps to force Russians to stretch their air defense. For example, today, Ukrainians successfully destroyed a Russian oil depot in the Luhansk region with a drone attack.

Russian sources also reported that today at least 3 Ukrainian drones reached Moscow. Interestingly, they were not shot down, they just ran out of gas. Russian military panicked and temporarily closed the sky over the military bases around Moscow. Russians have already started relocating their air defense from the front to protect the sky over Moscow, and such drone attacks are aimed at making sure that they continue doing it at the expense of Zaporizhia and Crimea. Russian analysts are warning that once Ukrainians are ready to launch the main phase of the counteroffensive, they will send swarms of drones to overwhelm Russian air defense in the region, and once the air defense is down, they will conduct extensive HIMARS strikes and use ballistic missiles Hrim-2 to take out Russian supplies right when they are going to need them the most.