The Ukrainian forces have liberated Kherson after almost nine months. On day 263 of the war in Ukraine, the streets of the largest Ukrainian city to be captured by the Russian forces flooded with celebrating civilians as the liberating Ukrainian military entered the city.
Ukraine Update: The Liberation of Kherson
The liberation of Kherson is another important moment in the war in Ukraine and shows in a concrete way how the tides of the war have changed to the benefit of the Ukrainians.
A few days ago, the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and the top Russian officer in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, announced that the Russian forces would be withdrawing from the western bank of the Dnipro River and Kherson City. The withdrawal took place because of the intense pressure that the Ukrainian counteroffensive was putting on the Russian forces.
In a statement about the Russian withdrawal, British Minister of Defense Ben Wallace captured best the questions that arose for the Russian people.
“Russia’s announced withdrawal from Kherson marks another strategic failure for them. In February, Russia failed to take any of its major objectives except Kherson,” Wallace said.
“Now with that also being surrendered, ordinary people of Russia must surely ask themselves, ‘What was it all for?’. The Russian Army has suffered huge loss of life as a result of their illegal invasion and have only achieved international isolationism and humiliation. Ukraine will press on,” the British Minister of Defense added.
“The UK and the international community will continue to support them, and while the withdrawal is welcome, no one is going to underestimate the continuing threat posed by the Russian Federation,” Wallace added.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine Keep Getting Worse
The withdrawal from Kherson came with very heavy casualties for the Russian military. Over the past couple of weeks, the Russian forces have been averaging more than 500 troops killed per day, according to offical Ukrainian claims.
Only a few days ago, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mike Milley came out with the U.S. military’s assessment of 100,000 Russian casualties (killed and wounded) thus far. That assessment is higher than the Ukrainian claims of around 80,000 Russian troops killed, which would tally to between 160,000 and 240,000 total casualties if we added the standard two to three wounded for every troop killed.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 80,860 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 278 fighter, attack, bomber and transport jets, 261 attack and transport helicopters, 2,840 tanks, 1,837 artillery pieces, 5,742 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 393 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,295 vehicles and fuel tanks, 206 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,507 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 159 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 399 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
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.