President of Russia Vladimir Putinfacing another A humiliating failure After his forces abandoned their positions in the city GersonAccording to Western authorities.
The Russian generals left the city they captured in the first days of the invasion, leaving behind men “Depressed and leaderless” To counter the Ukrainian advance. Analysts predict a success According to the information received by the guardians by the end of the year The Times.
Kherson was the last occupied city on Russia’s West Bank Dnipro, a river that divides Ukraine. Western officials said it would be “impossible” for Putin to maintain a military presence across the river if Kherson falls.
The city was captured The first great Russian victory After the February invasion, troops erupted in a rapid advance from the Crimea.
However, with the arrival of the boreal winter, the Russian generals seem to have made up their minds Abandon your position Focus on strengthening their positions on the west bank of the Dnieper and on the east bank.
“They’ve decided that Kherson is not worth fighting forBut the natural defensive barrier of the river is very valuable to them,” said a western official The Times.
There are signs of a possible withdrawal, but Ukraine is wary of them because they also come from Russian sources, which could cover a trap from Putin. Photographs The main administrative building of the city of Kherson without the Russian flag. kyiv did not give them credit.
Natalia HumeniukA military spokesman for southern Ukraine warned: “This may be a specific provocation, settlements have been abandoned, to create the impression that it is safe to enter them in preparation for street battles,” he said.
Russian supply lines, already badly damaged, a New success A pontoon bridge nine kilometers from Kherson was damaged this week. Images posted on the Internet purported to be American rocket launchers Himars They shot Six missiles Against the bridge.
Western officials are waiting to see if the setback prompts more criticism of the Kremlin; They see a catastrophic mismanagement of the invasion by hardliners.
Officials said Russian troops remained Without ammunition And the Kremlin imported artillery shells North Korea. After Putin ordered the recruitment 300,000 menThe newly mobilized troops appeared in front without weapons.
Kirill StremosovKherson’s deputy head of the civil-military administration insists that “life is going on as normal”.
A pro-Russian leader in southern Ukraine said Moscow probably would He will get his soldiers back From the west bank of the Dnieper River in Kherson, he urged the withdrawal of civilians, marking a withdrawal that would be Russia’s fallout from the war.
Moscow’s top officials remained silent. The Kyiv government was cautious, suggesting that Russia might be laying a trap for Ukrainian soldiers.
“Often, our units, our soldiers, will leave left bank (East),” Stremosov said in an interview Thursday Solovyov LivePro-Kremlin online media.
The zone includes the city of Kherson and one side of a dam across the Dnieper that controls the supply of water to irrigate Crimea, a peninsula occupied by Russia since 2014.
Earlier, Russia had denied that it planned to withdraw its forces from the region.
In detailed comments on a program organized by Thursday Night Television RTStremousov is somewhat confused, “We have to make some difficult decisions now. Whatever our strategy is. And some people may be afraid to admit things.”
“But for me, it’s more important to try to say this time: “People, please, Go to the east bank. They will be in a very safe position“, Stremosov said.
At another point, Stremosov said he hoped “we won’t leave Kherson,” adding that if that happened, “it would be a great shock to all of us in terms of image, but a great shock to those who were able. Stay here.”
(With information from Reuters)
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