Is the Russian military getting ready to evacuate Kherson and surrender it to the advancing Ukrainians?
The data from the ground and the statements of the Russian military and Russian officials suggest that this is the case.
Imminent Evacuation of Kherson?
General Sergey Surovikin, the new Russian general responsible for the overall war in Ukraine, is creating the conditions for the evacuation of Kherson.
In recent comments trying to justify in advance an evacuation, Gen. Surovikin stated that the Ukrainian forces might use “banned weapons” in their attack against Kherson City and that the Russian military “can’t afford to expose the population to that [danger].” The top Russian officer in Ukraine added that Moscow must make some “hard decisions” soon.
On Tuesday night, Kirill Stremousov, a pro-Russian official in proxy Kherson government, send a dire message on the Telegram app warning the people in and around Kherson of the imminent danger of a Ukrainian attack.
“Dear residents of Kherson and Kherson region, according to our information, the Ukro-Nazis encouraged by the West will begin their offensive on the city of Kherson very soon. Shelling of Kherson cannot be ruled out. Shelling of the right bank [the western part] of Kherson region cannot be ruled out,” the pro-Russian official stated.
Kherson is the largest Ukrainian urban center captured by the Russian military during the conflict.
“For two weeks, we have been insistently recommending that people leave the right bank of Kherson region. We remind you that housing, which you may lose as a consequence of missile strikes and bombing by the Nazis, will be compensated by Russia in other Russian regions. I request that you take my words seriously and as a call for evacuation as quickly as possible. We don’t intend to surrender the city. We will stand firm until the end. We won’t let the Nazis into the city,” Stremousov added.
The Russian officials have started evacuating, in some cases forcibly, civilians out of Kherson.
A Slow Death: The Ukrainian Strategy
For the better part of three months, the Ukrainian military has been pursuing a long-range interdiction campaign in the south. Combing targeting intelligence shared by the West with the mobile M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and the heavier M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), the Ukrainian forces have been targeting and taking out anything of military value within range.
Ammunition dumps, fuel depots, air defense, command and control posts, electronic warfare hubs, troop concentrations, transportation infrastructure, and other targets have been on the target deck of the Ukrainian long-range fires. The result after three months of precision fire is that the Russian military’s lines of supply and communication in and around Kherson have been severely degraded.
The Antonovsky Bridge that connects the two banks of the Dnipro River has been severely damaged, making vehicle movement hard, if not impossible. With limited water-crossing capabilities, the Russian forces on the western bank of the river are facing the very real danger of being trapped once the Ukrainian offensive begins in earnest.
In terms of weapon systems and other equipment, the Ukrainian forces are geared to capture a large amount of material that can’t cross to the eastern bank of the river because of the damage to the bridges. Once again, the prospect of another humiliating defeat hangs over the heads of the Russian commanders.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.
October 19, 2022 at 2:34 pm
Russia has just declared martial law in kherson region after evacuating civilians out of there.
Seems that moscow is enticing ukros with himars and other latest US military hardware to march forward.
Then, KA-BOOM! Ukros quickly disappear in a mini mushroom cloud. Finito for ukro neo-nazi hirelings of warmongering biden.
October 19, 2022 at 3:38 pm
Putin is an idiot fortunately.
Strikes on civilian assets have zero military value but they have
justified the West to provide advanced air defense capabilities to
watch the Russian army collapse just like in 1917
breaking Russia up into 1000 pieces is necessary for the world peace
we need to kick Russia into the stone age once and for all
they have been doing this s..t for 70 years
enough is enough
October 19, 2022 at 4:52 pm
OK Facist Putin lover, it is more likely that your beloved warmongers will completely destroy Kherson to punish the Ukranian democrats for being a far superior and moral army
October 19, 2022 at 8:52 pm
Off with you Slava Ukraine, you Nazi foreign troll, get out of our American comment sections and discussions. You are our proxy, our client state, nothing more. You seek the total destruction of American power through your machinations to bring us into your conflict, off with you. You are not America’s ally, nor do we owe you a single damned thing.
October 20, 2022 at 9:17 am
Heh. Always fun to read the foolish Putin supporters here.
I understand the geopolitics of ‘might is right’ – after all, The US does what it wants (Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan), why shouldn’t other nations take the lead? But the trick is when any nation makes a move, it has to win quickly before the world rises up against its actions.
In Putin’s case, he didn’t make the cut and Russia’s military fell far short of expectations, tactically and technically, as well astraining and morale. So Russia’s army has shown to be an incapable loser in the field. Pravda. There is no recovery from that. So, Putin must decide one of two options: Pull out of Ukraine and take the loss, or go Total War (which to me would be simply causing the collapse of Russia as you Russian trolls know it). Total war may mean Russian use of chem and nukes, at the worst Putin decision making. I’m thinking the West (and the world) is now mentally prepared for that and a has a suitable contingency response.
Smart thing would be Putin to pick up his war toys from Ukraine and go home, apologize, pay reparations, and allow the next couple of generations of Russian leaders to rebuild and pick up where he left off. But I’m not seeing those smarts. I’m seeing pride, panic, resentment at failure, and desperation AS YOU DO ALSO. Russia does not have the war infrastructure to rebuild it’s material losses, training skill of it’s soldiers, and leadership talent to fight this war today in Ukraine. So it becomes retreat or devastate.
Little Ukraine is winning, and that’s a tough thing for a major power like Russia to swallow. As it was for the US in… well, nearly every conflict since 1950. Join the club.
Final note: Ukraine isn’t overflowing with ‘Nazis’, which really were National Socialists of Germany 1930-1940s. So the rest of the world is laughing their collective asses off at your silliness, and a lot of your Russian citizens look away in embarrassment whenever someone claims ‘Ukrainian Nazis’, since a sizable number of Russians have been to Ukraine, some have friends and relatives there, and they never saw a Nazi. Short answer: Just because a Ukrainian, American, European etc despises your present idiot government doesn’t make them a Nazi.
Last, the world pretty much does not hate the Russian people, and most of us don’t care what you do until you start rolling your army into a neighbor’s property and start blowing sh*t up, haphazardly, and letting your untrained soldiers run about raping, murdering, and stealing better than they fight. Many of us actually like Russian people as individuals. It’s your collective tolerance for supporting a stupid action in Ukraine, and we mostly blame your Government, the Putin Regime. And you know this as you look at the trade, science and technical partnerships, foreign changes, energy partnerships and purchases, etc that were going on before the war – including between Russia and Ukraine. Nazi haters of Mother Russia don’t do that.
Just… apologize, go home, and start being friendly. This continues in this manner, it ain’t gonna end well for Russia.
October 20, 2022 at 3:09 pm
Com on Russian trolls. You aren’t even trying to sound rational.
Things must be looking pretty grim at the farm. Layoffs??
October 20, 2022 at 8:06 pm
What a pathetic site….all opinion and little facts.