November 10, 2022

Sitrep for November 9–10 (as of 15:00)

It is becoming more and more noticeable that Russian forces are withdrawing troops from the right bank of the Dnipro, but it is a rather slow process. Therefore, raising of the Ukrainian flag in Kherson should not be expected in the near future (Oleksiy Arestovych, the advisor to the head of the President’s Office of Ukraine, spoke on the subject on the air with Mark Feigin, a Russian lawyer and YouTube blogger). The transition of the territories left by Russian forces under the control of Ukraine could take quite a long time, as demining is the first thing to be done there. However, according to Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov, the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated 6 large settlements in the Kherson region.

In accordance with the principles of military science, Russian troops are now trying to organize rearguard fighting to cover retreating units. Russian forces might even conduct local offensive actions as part of such fighting, but only to inflict maximum damage to the enemy.

At the moment, the international expert community has almost agreed on the fact that Russian forces are really retreating from the right bank of the Dnipro, and it is not a deceptive maneuver. Besides, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army General Mark Milley, says that the withdrawal will likely take weeks.

The bridges were blown up in order to prevent the further advance of Ukrainian forces after the liberation of these territories. But it does not mean that Russian military vehicles had been transported before they blew up the bridges. On the contrary, using stationary crossings now is fraught with coming under Ukrainian strikes. Therefore, according to Oleksiy Arestovych, the Russian forces are trying to quickly build temporary crossings in unexpected places (the arrival of a large number of engineering vehicles has been announced lately).

Importantly, the withdrawal from the right bank of the Dnipro will slightly relieve the disposition for the Russian military and let them redeploy part of the forces to other directions. However, new logistical complications are also going to emerge: it will become essential to move depots deep into the rear in order to get them out of HIMARS target range.

Ukrainian troops are said to have liberated the village of Pravdyne, northwest of Kherson.  But since the video shows only a forest and cannot be geolocated, Def Mon is waiting for additional confirmations.  Overall, after the statements of Russia’s Defense Ministry, he marks 4600 km² of territory as contested.

Snihurivka in the Mykolaiv region has been liberated and is under Ukrainian control.

A video has been published of overnight withdrawal of Russian forces.

Satellite images show that Russian troops are already digging trenches in the north of Crimea - near the settlements of Chonhar and Armyansk.

The Russian army continues to set up its line of defense over the left bank of the Dnipro, occupying settlements in a fifteen-kilometer zone along the river, from where most residents were evacuated (for instance, Nova Kakhovka).

It is noteworthy that the bad news was delivered not by Putin, but by the Minister of Defense Shoigu and General of the Army Surovikin, commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov expressed complete support for Surovikin's decision to withdraw (which contradicts some of his previous statements).

Analyst Rob Lee from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank based in Philadelphia, PA, believes that "abandoning the right bank [of the Dnipro] was the obvious move after the Kharkiv offensive [by the AFU] demonstrated Russia's manpower weaknesses. [It is] pretty clear that Surovikin was the one requesting this move back since he was in charge of Russian forces in the south." He also stresses that he does not consider the withdrawal a trap.

US President Joe Biden, commenting on the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Dnipro's right bank, stated that Russia has real problems in the Kherson region. He also noted that the decision to withdraw troops was made immediately following the US midterm elections. If the withdrawal had happened earlier, it is likely that the news would have made it into election debates, strengthening the position of those who support military assistance to Ukraine.

On November 9, Kyrylo Stremousov, deputy head of the occupation administration of the Kherson region, died (according to the official version, in a traffic accident). Surprisingly, the date of his death coincides with the day when the withdrawal of Russian troops from the right bank of the Dnipro River was announced. This brings to mind the cases when pro-Russian forces eliminated local collaborators in 2014-2015.

On November 8, during roadworks on the Chuhuiv-Mylove highway in the Kharkiv region, road workers were blown up by an anti-tank mine. Two people died, and two more were injured.

A tractor exploded on a mine in the village of Dmitrievka, Belgorod region.

Two HIMARS shells hit occupied Stakhanov (Kadiivka).

The reconstruction of the Crimean bridge continues.

The Republic of Chad issued a postage stamp with the damaged Crimean bridge as a sign of support for Ukraine.

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Treasury Department and the State Department are unofficially asking major banks to continue cooperating with certain Russian firms (Gazprom, Uralkalii, Phosagro) in the areas of humanitarian aid, energy, and agriculture.

The U.S. and its allies are discussing the possibility of providing Ukraine with necessary infrastructure equipment: generators, water purification equipment, heaters, and other necessary items.

Ukraine requested C-RAM mobile air defense systems from the USA to fight Iranian kamikaze drones.

Germany announced the next package of military assistance for Ukraine. It will include:

  • missiles for IRIS-T air defense systems;
  • 30 Dingo armored cars;
  • 5 M1070 Oshkosh tractors for transporting tanks;
  • 18 reconnaissance drones;
  • Electronic warfare equipment and anti-drone jammers;
  • a forklift.

The UK will give Ukraine 12 thousands sleeping kits and 150 heated tents. Also, the UK announced that they will give Ukraine 1000 ground-to-air missiles for protection of infrastructure from Russian attacks.

A correspondent of the Bild Germany daily newspaper published a story about one of the M777 howitzer crews who have already made 6000 shots from the howitzer. Canadian instructors recommend to change M777 barrels after 2500 shots, but the unit has already done this 4 times because the accuracy began to decrease after 1500 shots approximately.

A special index was accepted by the Government of Russia for designation of the Coordinating Council instructions for ensuring the needs of the army. Projects and documents about such instructions must be prepared in twenty-four hours and signed in 4 hours.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov visited occupied Luhansk, where he instructed press services and mass media.