The Ukrainian military is restrained in commenting on the statements by the Russian command about the withdrawal of occupation troops from Kherson to the left bank of the Dnipro River. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine does not deny or confirm the information about the retreat of the ruscists units, emphasising only that the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continues.

“Just as the enemy was withdrawing from Kyiv, Kharkiv region, leaving Zmiinyi Island, the likely withdrawal from Kherson is the result of our active actions. In Kherson direction, the Defence Forces of Ukraine destroyed the enemy’s logistics routes and support system, disrupted the troops management system. Thus, the enemy had no other option than to flee. However, now we can neither deny nor confirm the information about the so-called withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson. We continue the offensive operation according to our plan,” Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said at a briefing on 10 November.

He added that it was necessary to focus exclusively on the official reports of the General Staff on the military operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, British intelligence considers that the withdrawal of Russian forces from the right-bank Kherson region will take place over several days with defensive positions and artillery fires covering withdrawing forces.

The intelligence service confirms that Russia’s ability to sustain its forces on the west bank of the Dnipro River has been placed under pressure by Ukrainian strikes on Russia’s resupply routes.

“The loss of Kherson’s west bank will likely prevent Russia from achieving its strategic aspiration of a land bridge reaching Odesa. With limited crossing points, Russian forces will be vulnerable in crossing the Dnipro River,” the report reads.

According to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are advancing cautiously in the south so that the counteroffensive takes place with the least losses, because the enemy is not going to surrender positions without a fight.

“You need to understand: no one withdraws from anywhere if they don’t feel the strength. The enemy does not bring us gifts, does not make ‘gestures of goodwill.’ It is the result of our fight,” the Head of State emphasised.

As a reminder, on 9 November, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from the right bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. The commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine, General Sergey Surovikin, confirmed that the troops would be withdrawn to defensive positions along the Dnipro River. Logistics problems were named as the main reason for such actions.

Kherson is the only regional center of Ukraine that the Russian occupation forces managed to capture since the beginning of the full-scale invasion on 24 February 2022.

Bohdan Marusyak

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