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Russia Pulls Out Of Kherson To Defend East Bank Of Dnipro
Based on what is being reported in Russian media, the retreat of the Russian Army from Kherson appears to be genuine and not a trap to lure Ukrainian units to their destruction.
TASS, Russia’s state news agency, is reporting this morning that Russian troops are taking up positions to defend the “left” (eastern) bank of the Dnipro River.
This was announced to journalists on Thursday by the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov.
"In the Nikolaev-Kryvyi Rih direction, units of the Russian group of troops are maneuvering to prepared positions on the left bank of the Dnieper River in strict accordance with the approved plan," Konashenkov said.
This has also been reported by RIA Novosti, which highlighted the potential flooding risk from Ukrainian shelling of the bridge over the Nova Kakhovka Dam.
The day before, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu agreed with the proposal of the commander of the Joint Group of Russian Forces Sergei Surovikin to organize defense in the Kherson region , on the left bank of the Dnieper. As Surovikin noted, the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue shelling the Kakhovka dam - this can provoke flooding, which will entail significant casualties. This threatens to isolate the troops on the right bank of the Dnieper if they are not withdrawn from there. In addition, the group located near Kherson is facing supply difficulties due to Ukrainian artillery strikes on transport corridors.
The question becomes what sort of “prepared positions” does Russia have on the east bank of the Dnipro. A quick look at a topographical map of the region shows that the terrain west of the Dnipro is several meters higher in elevation than the terrain east of the Dnipro.
While getting across the Dnipro should help Russia’s supply lines, Russia is abandoning higher ground for lower ground. This could increase the effectiveness of Ukrainian artillery deployed along the Dnipro in preparation for Ukraine’s next offensive operation in the Kherson region.
Will Russia be able to hold their new defensive line east of Kherson?
The world wonders….
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