Ukraine. When Zelensky visited Kherson, the East was under attack

Volodymyr Zelensky celebrated one of Ukraine’s most impressive victories in Kherson on Monday. The Ukrainian president promised that this was the “beginning of the end” of the war. On the other side of the country, however, the Russians did what they had promised when they pulled out of Kherson, leaving this besieged city on the west bank of the Dnipro River without having to advance east toward Donetsk.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine warned in a Facebook post that “the enemy launched an attack in the direction of Pakmut, Avtivka and Novopavlivka,” as people filled the main square with Ukrainian flags and cheered Zelensky in Kherson. . Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian military reported that the Russians had launched dozens of airstrikes, missile and rocket salvos.

Russian media bragged about the invaders’ advances, releasing a video shot by a drone that showed a Ukrainian soldier trapped in a tunnel by an assault group of Luhansk militants, desperately trying to fire before being shot down by grenades.

The Ukrainian resettlement of Kherson has robbed Vladimir Putin of his only bridgehead on the west bank of the Dnipro – after waves of Russian recruitment and reorganization, it is almost impossible to march into Odessa and block Ukraine’s access to the sea. – This surprised many researchers.

To recover the city intact, it was necessary to creatively cut off the Russian supply lines across the river. They mainly used American long-range missile launchers, HIMARS, but as they did not have enough power to destroy the bridges, they made ditches almost straight across the Antonivskiy Bridge – the gateway from the Crimean Peninsula to Kherson. From the track, it points to repair crews to make the road impassable. They then targeted pontoons set up by the Russian military, which were limited to the use of ships, which were also targeted.

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However, if the Kremlin withdraws 20,000 to 40,000 troops holding Kherson — including a good portion of its remaining elite forces, especially paratroopers — “this does not create the conditions for a relaxation of hostilities for the rest of the fall and winter,” assessed a recent report by the Institute for War Studies. They are launching a new offensive in the Donetsk region,” the US think tank continued. Hostilities are expected to escalate in the coming weeks as troops drawn from Kherson are redeployed.

The tactics used by the Russians in this region, especially in Bagmut, which they have been trying to capture since May, as Zelensky noted last month. “This is where the insanity of the Russian command is most apparent,” he pointed out. Perhaps because Pakmut experienced the Russian strategy of crushing nearby towns with artillery, or because the attacks were carried out by Wagner’s mercenaries, known for doing the Putin regime’s dirty work.

Even in Kherson, despite all the joy of people hugging their liberators and giving them flowers, the situation was complicated, with almost two thousand explosives “left by the Russians in this city,” Zelensky denounced. People need not fear that the invaders will return in the future. But the president has already urged them to “be careful and not try to independently check buildings and things left behind by residents.” In addition to fears that Russia would use its fortified positions across the river to destroy Kherson with artillery.

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