Monday, November 28, 2022

Ukraine war latest: Russia orders withdrawal from Kherson, Ukraine doesn't confirm yet

by Asami TerajimaNovember 9, 2022 10:20 pm
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Ukraine war latest: Russia orders withdrawal from Kherson, Ukraine doesn't confirm yetAn elderly woman walks in the liberated village of Arkhanhelske Kherson Oblast on Nov. 3, 2022. (Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images)

Key developments on Nov. 9:

  • Russia ordered withdrawal of troops from Kherson 
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly enter Snihurivka
  • High-profile collaborator in occupied Kherson Oblast killed
  • Russia fires 8 missile strikes, 10 airstrikes across Ukraine

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the withdrawal of troops from Kherson on Nov. 9.

Russian retreat comes nearly three months into Ukraine's southern counteroffensive aimed at recapturing the capital of Kherson Oblast.

Russia began relocating its troops and military equipment out of the city back in October.

Leaving Russian units on the right bank of the river where Kherson sits was "hopeless," General Sergei Surovikin said in his televised conversation with Shoigu.

Neither the Ukrainian military nor President Volodymyr Zelensky has commented on Russia's retreats from Kherson.

Mykhailo Podoliak, advisor to the Office of the President of Ukraine, cautioned against trusting Russia's words.

"Until the Ukrainian flag is flying over Kherson, it makes no sense to talk about a Russian withdrawal," Podolyak told Reuters.

According to Ukraine's October assessment, there were 30,000 to 50,000 Russian troops on Dnipro's right bank.

Raging battle

Early in the afternoon, photographs, soon confirmed by geolocation, were posted on local Snihurivka Telegram channels of a Ukrainian flag raised on a telecommunications tower near the town's train station.

While there is no official confirmation yet, a video allegedly showing a convoy fleeing the settlement circulated online.

Ukrainian forces have already entered several settlements on the way to Kherson on Nov. 9, including Snihurivka, according to an on-the-ground report. 

Speaking anonymously to the Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian officer posted near Snihurivka confirmed that Ukrainian forces had entered the town and are continuing to advance. 

Across the front line in Kherson Oblast, the Southern Military Command reported that Russian forces were holding onto their captured territories but were also "preparing to retreat."

Serhiy Khlan, an aide to the Kherson Oblast governor, said in a briefing that Russian forces were blowing up bridges on the right bank of the Dnipro River.

He said it appears to be Russia's attempt to slow down the anticipated deepening counteroffensive of Ukraine's Armed Forces. 

Proxy's death

Moscow's announcement of the Kherson retreat coincides with the unexpected death of Kirill Stremousov, a high-profile collaborator in the largely occupied region. 

Both Ukrainian and Russian sources have confirmed the death of the deputy head of Russia's illegal occupation government in Kherson Oblast. 

Stremousov, who headed local pro-Kremlin groups in pre-war days, was known for his pro-Russian views long before the full-scale invasion. 

The 45-year-old, then a local Ukrainian politician and blogger, welcomed the Russian occupation of Kherson in March and soon joined the proxy leadership. 

Stremousov supported the mass deportation of local residents in Kherson Oblast.

Birds fly over a damaged building in the liberated village of Arkhanhelske in Kherson Oblast on Nov. 3, 2022. (Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images)

Eastern front

Across the country, Russian forces launched eight missile strikes and 10 airstrikes on Nov. 9, according to the General Staff's latest report. 

The report said that Russian forces had struck more than 15 towns and villages in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, and Sumy oblasts. 

According to the General Staff, Russian forces attempted to advance toward Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and other settlements in Donetsk Oblast, heavily shelling the area with tanks, mortars, and rocket artillery.

The report added that the morale and psychological conditions of the mobilized Russians currently training are "significantly deteriorating" due to the sharp contrast between reality and Kremlin propaganda. 

Ukraine had shot down most of the more than 400 Iranian-made drones fired over the country's territory, Ukraine's Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on Nov. 9. 

"But, unfortunately, it is impossible to destroy 100% of the drones," Ihnat said on TV.

Asami Terajima
Asami Terajima
National reporter

Asami Terajima is a national reporter at the Kyiv Independent. She previously worked as a business reporter for the Kyiv Post focusing on international trade, infrastructure, investment and energy.

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