Calm before the storm – Russians tremble before Ukrainian Kherson offensive

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Calm before the storm – Russians tremble before Ukrainian Kherson offensive

In view of the advance of the Kiev troops in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, Russia is preparing for a major offensive. According to Ukrainian information, the Russian military command left the city of Kherson and retreated across the Dnipro. Accordingly, only newly mobilized, inexperienced troops remained on the right bank of the river. Russia has also withdrawn its troops from several other cities in the western part of the oblast. There are many indications that the storming of Kherson is imminent.

The city of Kherson was taken at the very beginning of the Russian war of aggression, but the situation for the Russian troops west of the river has now deteriorated considerably. Ukrainian forces have systematically destroyed Russian supply routes across the Dnipro and have been marching into the city in their counter-offensive since early October.

The new commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, Sergey Surovikin, said in this regard that Moscow’s military command does not rule out “difficult decisions”. Observers interpret this as an indication of a possible complete withdrawal of the city’s armed forces.

City is being prepared for house war
Some soldiers are already fleeing Kherson by ferry, the US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports, citing the Ukrainian General Staff. Meanwhile, other members of the Russian armed forces are preparing the city for a city war. On Saturday, civilians in Kherson were asked to leave the regional capital. Russia continued to raise calls for evacuation on Sunday. According to the Kremlin, up to 60,000 residents must be taken to safety. The situation in Kherson must look grim to the people: a Ukrainian reporter shared photos of empty supermarket shelves on Twitter on Sunday.

More than 20,000 civilians have since been sent from the city to the other side of the Dnipro by the Russian occupying forces. The population was “suggested to take the opportunity and move to the left bank of the Kherson region,” Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian occupation administration, said in a radio interview on Sunday. At the same time, he stated that the situation was stable and that the defense lines were being strengthened.

Are Russians blowing up checkers?
According to the ISW, Russia is preparing a series of actions to delay the counteroffensive. One of them is likely to destroy the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station to slow down Ukraine’s advance. The government in Kiev has been warning for days that the dam will be blown up.

According to the ISW, Moscow is also planning to carry out a delay action on the right bank of the Dnipro with inexperienced military personnel, although it is risky. If Ukrainian troops decide to step up the attack, it could trigger a flight. A Russian military blogger said the situation for pro-Moscow forces in the Kherson region was “catastrophic”. It was “practically impossible” to withdraw troops from the first lines of defence.

More attacks on energy infrastructure
Meanwhile, Russia says it has continued its attacks on Ukraine’s energy supply infrastructure and military for the past 24 hours. In addition, Russian troops have repulsed Ukrainian counter-offensives on several front sections, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said.

A Ukrainian fuel depot in central Ukraine was destroyed. A depot “that housed more than 100,000 tons of aviation fuel for the Ukrainian Air Force was destroyed near the village of Smila in the Cherkassy region,” the defense ministry said. In addition, several ammunition depots and a petrol tank for Ukrainian military vehicles were damaged.

Source: Krone

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