Cory Jennings-DuBois | News Editor
On Wednesday the Kremlin announced Russia’s official retreat from the major city Kherson in Ukraine. This came as a shock to many, including the Ukrainian officials. Kherson is a militarily important area, as it’s location and components within are incredibly strategic and will give the conqueror the upper hand. This is one of the more significant hitches in the war that Putin began, as Kherson is a very industrial city, which holds many important ports and has an advantageous location. Russia’s seizing of this city allowed Moscow to have a crucial hold west of Dnipro, which pushed all the way to the major and crucial port city of Odesa.
This order was given by Russia’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, who announced on a broadcasting of their top military leaders that, due to heavy shelling implemented by the Ukrainians, the city was indefensible.
Vladimir Putin was not attending the meeting that was broadcast, and whether or not this was purposeful, he evaded the embarrassment of this defeat and distanced himself for from the overall decision to retreat from Kherson.
By the end of the day, there was plenty confirmation that Russia was holding true to their word and retreating. Ukrainian troops were ordered to not move back in to recapture their city, as this could have been a possible ploy made by the opposing country to lure them into a trap, but as the hours of the day passed, it was clear that the pullback was legit.
The Ukrainian troops’ ability to move back into Kherson, however, was hindered. Russia blew up bridges and destroyed other entrances that could have allowed Ukraine passage back into the city, so reconstruction of those routes is underway.
The news of this retreat prompted various different repossess form various people. Some Russians grew very angry, whereas others believed this retreat to be the right move and tactical in regards to the overall picture of the war. Russian military blogger Yuri Kotyonok said “The decision is shocking to thousands and millions of people who are fighting for Russia, dying for Russia, believe in Russia and share the beliefs of the Russian world”. The majority of Ukraine, of course, had positive attitudes, though some expressed how quizzical this Russian move is. “They are moving out but not as much as would be taking place if it was a full pullout or regrouping,” presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in regards to the remnants of Russia in Kherson.
This has raised many concerns for Ukrainians, as Russia has deemed Kherson the “city of death”- heavy shelling is still being reported, along with looting of civilian apartments and planned attacks on the opposite side of the Dnieper River. On November 10th, at around 2:30 pm, Russian troops blew up and destroyed the Kherson TV center, which is a main source of information and power for its civilians.
It is debatable what Russia’s intentions are when it comes to this retreat, but time will tell, as many countries are backing out of Russian agreements and contracts while supplying Ukraine with all the resources needed to aid them in a victory.