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14 Nov. 2023

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Is russia retreating on the left bank of the Kherson region?

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Is russia retreating on the left bank of the Kherson region?

russian state news agencies reported a planned retreat of russian troops in southern Ukraine to regroup, and then deleted the news. Find out whether the news was a mistake and what the following statements might indicate

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On November 13, russian state news agencies, including RIA Novosti and TASS, published reports that the occupation grouping of troops "Dnipro" would be redeployed to more favorable positions east of Dnipro.


"Having assessed the situation, the command of the 'Dnipro' group decided to move its troops to more favorable positions east of Dnipro. After the regrouping, Dnipro will free up some of the forces that will be used to attack in other areas," russian media wrote on their websites and Telegram channels, citing a statement from the russian Defense Ministry.


However, almost immediately after the news was published, the media began to massively delete messages and cancel their statements. The Ministry of Defense itself also "denied" the news and called it a "provocation." Some Telegram channels even began to blame Ukraine and claimed to have found a "Ukrainian trace" of this "provocation."


What is happening on the left bank of the Kherson region?


Last year, russia already made a "goodwill gesture" and withdrew to the left bank of the Dnipro River when the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a counteroffensive in the Kherson direction. And now, Ukrainian forces have already established a bridgehead on the left bank and have begun to move heavy equipment there, expanding their control and creating conditions for a further offensive. Read more about what is happening in the Kherson sector here.


The Ukrainian General Staff does not disclose any details about the operation that is currently taking place on this section of the front, but according to information obtained by the BBC from its sources in the russian army, the occupation forces call their defense on the left bank "suicide."


At the same time, it is known that russia has not sent a significant part of its forces to the left bank, although it has a large grouping in the area. This can be explained by several factors:


1. Ukraine has an advantage in artillery on this section of the front, as it is located on the high right bank of the Dnipro, meaning that the russian army simply cannot operate here without suffering heavy losses.

2. The bridgehead created by the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the village of Krynky does not give russia an understanding of Ukraine's future plans. After all, the grouping on the left bank can only be a special maneuver to deliver the main blow from the other side.

3. An attempt to destroy the already established bridgehead near Krynky with a broad front could lead to catastrophic losses for the occupying army, which could eventually lead to russia's global failure near Kherson. If russia throws all its forces into the battle here, the Ukrainian army can break through from the other side and surround the occupiers, as the length of the front line controlled by Dnipro is about 300 kilometers (from the Kinburn Spit to Enerhodar).




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Will russia retreat on the left bank?


In general, there are no serious reasons for the russian army to retreat on this section of the front. It is important to note that by withdrawing from their positions, the occupiers will completely open the way for Ukraine to enter Crimea, and therefore the reasons for such a "gesture of goodwill" must be very serious.


At the same time, the Center for National Resistance (CNR) believes that the news of the retreat could be a hostile operation to distract Ukrainian forces, as there is currently no indication that russia is preparing a retreat or regrouping. However, in their opinion, the occupiers' withdrawal from the Kherson region is only a matter of time.


At the same time, the head of the Center for Military Legal Studies, Oleksandr Musienko, in a comment for RBK-Ukraine, noted that, in his opinion, "such a message was prepared by the russian side, but was published prematurely."


In addition, Musienko noted that the occupiers already have certain logistical problems due to the Ukrainian Armed Forces' offensive, particularly at the entrances to Nova Kakhovka.


Therefore, according to the expert, russia may indeed retreat under certain circumstances.


"For example, to Radensk. Perhaps further east beyond Radensk and try to organize a defense from there. I mean, it seems to me that it was premature. It was a false start of this news, of what was to be announced," summarized Musienko.


We remind you! Since September 2023, Ukraine has been talking about how everyone should prepare for a war of attrition. Read what this phase of the war entails and whether Ukraine will be able to win if it engages in positional battles with russia in our previous article.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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