Russia is Leaving Kherson and Ukraine, but the Withdrawal is Risky for Both Sides

Russia is leaving Kherson and Ukraine: Analysts warned that Russia’s pullout from a big part of southern Ukraine’s Kherson “is not over” and might endanger both sides. Russia began withdrawing from the western side of the Dnipro river that divides Kherson on Thursday.
Ukraine reported advancing four kilometers and liberating 12 communities since Wednesday.

Russia is pulling out of Kherson, Ukraine, but the move is dangerous for both countries

Analysts warned that Russia’s pullout from a big part of southern Ukraine’s Kherson “is not over” and might endanger both sides. Russia said Thursday that its forces were starting to withdraw from the western bank of the Dnipro river that bisects the Kherson region, while Ukraine said its forces had advanced four miles and liberated 12 settlements since Wednesday when Russia’s top military officials announced they would pull Russian troops out of Kherson city and the surrounding area and back to defensive positions on the other side.

On Thursday, Ukraine’s military appeared to be targeting big numbers of Russian troops withdrawing, despite the government’s skepticism. “We demolish it,” said a Kherson official as Russian soldiers moved their equipment to the eastern bank of the river. Analysts expect the Kherson pullout to provide substantial obstacles for both the Russians and Ukrainian military as they try to retake the city and surrounding territory.

“The battle of Kherson is not over, but Russian forces have entered a new phase—prioritizing withdrawing their forces across the river in good order and delaying Ukrainian forces, rather than seeking to halt the Ukrainian counteroffensive entirely,” Institute for the Study of War analysts said Wednesday evening. The institution stated the full Russian deployment will take time to retire across the Dnipro, and it’s questionable if Russian soldiers will be able to leave in good order under Ukrainian pressure.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense recognized that the retreat will be tough, and Ukrainian forces seeking to reoccupy and free Russian-occupied Kherson will also face hazards. “In fleeing, Russian forces have damaged many bridges and presumably buried mines to halt and delay advancing Ukrainian forces,” the ministry stated in an intelligence report on Twitter Thursday.

Russia is Leaving Kherson and Ukraine
It added: “With few crossing locations, Russian soldiers will be vulnerable in crossing the Dnipro River. Defensive positions and artillery bombardment will likely cover the withdrawal over many days. As Russian soldiers retreated, Kherson combat intensified on Thursday. On Facebook, Kherson Regional Council member Serhiy Khlan stated a major Russian force deployment in Kakhovka had exploded.

Another Ukrainian official observed that Russia had not requested a “green corridor” to safely remove its soldiers from Kherson. As enemy troops build up, Ukraine’s southern command unit claimed today that its soldiers had targeted “two strongholds of the Russian invaders, a column of hostile equipment, and an ammo storage” on Thursday.

“The Ukrainian troops annihilated 125 occupiers, three enemy tanks, five armored vehicles, and an ammo storage in the Berislav district,” it claimed. Berislav is upriver from Kherson on the western bank, where Russian soldiers will retreat. The southern command unit said that Russia was planting land mines and road obstructions to hinder Ukrainian soldiers from trying to retake the area. Ukrainian president’s advisor Mikhailo Podolyak stated Russians planned to “transform Kherson into a ‘city of death” when they retreated.

Analysts think Ukraine’s military battled effectively to retake Kherson from Russia. The Institute for the Study of War said Wednesday that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kherson direction since August—a planned interdiction effort to force Russian soldiers to retire across the Dnipro without large Ukrainian land offensives—has likely succeeded.

Ukraine targeted Russian soldiers, military assets, and supplies in Kherson “to render sustained Russian positions on the west bank unsustainable without having to perform large-scale and costly field movements to liberate territory,” according to the institute.

“Ukrainian troops launched constant attacks on bridges across the Dnipro River and targeted supply centers and ammunition depots on the east bank… that degraded the ability of Russian forces to supply the grouping on the west bank; Ukrainian forces combined these strikes with prudent and successful ground attacks on key locations like Davydiv Brid. “This campaign succeeded,” it stated.

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