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UK Defense Ministry: Russia replaces commander in charge of occupied Kherson Oblast

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 31, 2023 1:28 PM 2 min read
The destroyed Antonivsky bridge over the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. The bridge was blown by Russian forces when they retreated from Kherson in November 2022. (Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Russia has changed the leadership of its forces operating in occupied Kherson Oblast, likely indicating an increased intensity of the pressure the Russian Army faces in the area, the U.K.'s Defense Ministry said on Oct. 31, citing a report by the Russian state-run news agency TASS.

Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky, the deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, replaced Colonel General Oleg Makarevich.

According to Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed proxy in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Makarevich was removed from his post for providing false reports to higher-ups about the situation on the ground.

The ministry noted that Teplinsky is "likely held in high regard by the Russian General Staff," in part because of his role in the largely successful withdrawal of Russian troops from the west of the Dnipro River in November 2022 during their retreat from Kherson.

Previously, the ministry reported in April 2023 that Teplinsky had returned to an active role in Ukraine after being allegedly dismissed three months earlier due to an internal power struggle.

Ukrainian forces have continued to put pressure on Russian troops in the Dnipro River area in Kherson Oblast.

The U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Oct. 20 that Ukraine had established a presence in the Krynky settlement on the Russian-held Dnipro River's left bank.

The U.K. Defense Ministry's Oct. 31 report corroborated the increased fighting in the area, as well as emphasizing that "repelling Ukrainian attacks across the Dnipro and holding territory in occupied Kherson Oblast remains a high priority objective for Russian forces in Ukraine."

Ukrainian troops regularly cross Dnipro River, probing Russian defenses in Kherson Oblast
Kherson Oblast – Ukrainian soldiers board a speedboat one by one. It sinks deeper into the water, weighed down by the men, their weapons, and equipment. The soldiers at the stern push off from the riverbank with oars until, finally, they turn on the boat’s engine, roaring into the darkness toward
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