Day 260 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Zelensky welcomes Russia's announced Withdrawal from Kherson region

Ukraine | November 10, 2022, Thursday // 12:30|  views

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Putin will not attend the G20 summit in Bali

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit in Indonesia next week, AFP reported, citing a representative of the Russian embassy in Jakarta.

It is the first Russian confirmation that Putin will not travel to Bali for the meeting, which would see him in the same room as US President Joe Biden for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Biden called Putin a "war criminal" and ruled out a meeting with him in Bali if the talks did not include the release of Americans held in Russia.

"I can confirm that (Foreign Minister) Sergey Lavrov will lead the G-20 delegation. President Putin's program is still being finalized, he can participate virtually," Yulia Tomskaya told AFP. She is responsible for protocol at the Russian Embassy in Indonesia.

Earlier, Indonesian officials told Reuters that Putin would not go to Bali and that Lavrov would lead Moscow's delegation.

As host of the G20, Indonesia resisted pressure from Western countries and Kyiv over the war in Ukraine to withdraw an invitation to Putin to participate in the leaders' forum and expel Russia from the G20. Jakarta has said it does not have the authority to do such a thing without consensus among the group's countries.

In an interview with the "Financial Times", Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that Russia was welcome at the meeting, which the Indonesian head of state expressed concern that it would be overshadowed by the "rather alarming" rise in tensions in international relations, BTA reported.

"The Group of 20 is not intended as a political forum. It is intended as a forum dedicated to the economy and development," he pointed out. In August, he confirmed that Putin had accepted the invitation to the Bali meeting.

Indonesia has also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but he has announced that he will not attend if Putin is there. The Ukrainian head of state is expected to join the forum via video conference. Ukraine is not a member of the G-20.

A number of other world leaders are expected to participate in the G20 summit, including US and Chinese presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

Pro-Kremlin governor of Kherson Kiril Stremousov died in a road accident

The deputy head of the pro-Kremlin administration of the occupied Kherson region Kiril Stremousov has died reported the Russian publications "Izvestia" and "Moskovsky Komsomolets". The news was confirmed by sources of the publications in the power structures. Ukrainian publications report that a truck crashed into the vice governor's car at high speed while he was stopped at a pedestrian crossing.

The Telegram channel Readovka was the first to report the death of Stremousov, one of the Ukrainians' most hated collaborators. According to social media, the deputy governor, who in recent months served as the head of the occupied region, died in a road accident.

The news is also confirmed by RT close to the Kremlin and the FSB. The Telegram channel of the Wargonzo project adds details that Kiril Stremousov died near Genichesk. The channel refers to the personal driver of the pro-Russian administrator.

There were several attempts against Kiril Stremousov by the VSU, one of which was reported to have survived an attack on the building of the regional administration with HIMARS because he went for an interview just then. Some time ago, Stremousov suggested that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu should shoot himself.

Users on the Internet pay attention to an interesting detail of Kiril Stremousov's video addresses, which are recorded in the compartments of the cars he drives. In all the clips, the deputy head of the district has a seat belt slung behind his back, and in some of them he is in a car in which the seat belt has not been removed at all.

The governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, called Kiril Stremousov's death "irreparable". "He was a true patriot of Russia, brave and courageous, in any situation he was in touch and considered it his duty to inform the residents of the Kherson region about what was happening. It was the same this morning," wrote Razvozhaev. In Ukraine, they sarcastically called the death of the traitor a huge loss for stand-up comedy. According to the adviser in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anton Gerashchenko, Stremousov was liquidated by the FSB and his own, those who created him as a media hero.

Zelensky welcomes Russia's announced withdrawal from Kherson region

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the news of Russia's announced withdrawal from the Kherson region. According to his advisers, it is too early to trust Moscow to leave the occupied region.

Yesterday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered Russian forces to withdraw from occupied Kherson and take up defensive positions on the east bank of the Dnieper.

Observers described the move as a turning point in the war. This is the most significant Russian retreat in the course of the war.

The commander of the Russian army in Ukraine, General Sergey Surovikin, announced that it is no longer possible to supply the occupied Kherson, located on the west bank of the Dnieper.

The city is awaiting a decisive battle with Ukrainian forces. According to American intelligence, since the beginning of the war, Russia has lost over 100,000 military personnel who have been killed or wounded.

According to Washington, the number of civilian victims is close to 40 thousand. The United Nations said it will begin deliveries to the Kherson region when the situation becomes safe for humanitarian organizations.

"We must be moderate in our emotions - this is always the case in war. I will not reveal information to our enemy, but our operations continue - in the south and in the east. And we will all see the results very soon. The enemy is not giving us anything, it does nothing as a sign of goodwill. Everything that is happening is our achievement. But it is also connected with the loss of many lives," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

His advisor Mykhailo Podolyak was also skeptical, according to whom the order of the Russian Minister of Defense Shoigu did not correspond to the reality on the ground. According to him, Moscow's forces may also try to cause serious damage before their eventual withdrawal from the region, including blowing up a dam.

US President Joe Biden said that the withdrawal from Kherson clearly shows that Russia has serious problems with its military.

"It's interesting that they waited until after our elections before announcing their decision on Kherson, which we've all known for some time that they've been planning to do. This proves that they have serious problems with their military. It also remains to be seen whether Ukraine is ready to make some concessions to Russia. I am leaving for the G20 meeting. President Putin will not be there, but I will discuss the situation with other leaders," added US President Joe Biden.

Turkish President Erdogan also commented on the topic. According to him, Russia's withdrawal is a positive signal. Ankara will continue its diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine, Erdogan added.

ISW: Battle of Kherson is not over, but Shoigu's words are not a trap - Russia is withdrawing

The Battle of Kherson is not essentially over, but Russian forces have entered a new phase - prioritizing withdrawal across the river and delaying Ukrainian forces, rather than seeking to halt the Ukrainian counteroffensive entirely. The Russian withdrawal from Kherson, announced in a staged televised meeting, is not a trap designed to draw Ukrainian troops into costly fighting near the city, as Ukrainian and Western sources have suggested.

The assurance was given by the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in today's summary of the fighting, as of 15:00 p.m. on November 9.

"The withdrawal of Russian troops from the west bank of the Dnieper River is hardly a trap aimed at drawing Ukrainian troops into costly fighting near the city of Kherson, as some Ukrainian and Western sources have suggested. ISW has already observed many indicators that Russian forces, military and economic assets, and occupation elements are steadily withdrawing from the west bank of the Dnieper River, and Russian officials are anticipating and preparing for the withdrawal in a manner inconsistent with a deception and trap campaign of the Ukrainian troops," the text says.

On November 9, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered an immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from the west (right) bank of the Dnieper River to the east (left). He gave his order during a highly staged televised meeting with the commander of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, Army General Sergei Surovikin.

"The withdrawal of the entire Russian contingent across the Dnieper River will take some time, and it is not yet clear whether Russian forces will be able to do so in relatively good order under Ukrainian pressure. The battle of Kherson is not over, but Russian forces have entered a new phase - they prioritize withdrawing their forces across the river in good order and delaying Ukrainian forces, rather than seeking to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive entirely," ISW writes.

Its experts conclude, based on the course of events, that the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the direction of Kherson since August (a coordinated crossing campaign aimed at forcing Russian forces to withdraw across the Dnieper without requiring major Ukrainian ground offensives) has probably succeeded.

Ukrainian forces conducted a targeted and well-executed campaign to target Russian concentration areas, military assets and logistics hubs in the Kherson region to render further Russian positions on the west bank untenable without requiring large-scale and costly ground maneuvers to release of the territory.

Ukrainian troops launched sustained attacks on bridges across the Dnieper River and targeted supply centers and ammunition depots on the east bank of the Dnieper, which impaired the ability of Russian forces to supply the west bank. Ukrainian forces combined these strikes with intelligent and successful ground attacks on key locations. This campaign resulted in success. Surovikin directly admits that Russian forces are unable to supply their group in and around Kherson due to Ukrainian strikes on critical Russian supply lines on the west coast.

Russian sources cited by ISW noted that the withdrawal was a natural consequence of targeted and systematic Ukrainian strikes that had cost Russian units on the west bank its main supply arteries, gradually reducing their overall forces and capabilities.

"Russian commanders will certainly try to delay the Ukrainian advance in order to maintain an orderly withdrawal, and some forces may remain to delay Ukrainian troops in the city of Kherson itself - but these battles will be a means to the end of a possible withdrawal most Russian parts in good order" - claims ISW.

Russian sources consider this a major defeat for Russian forces as they lose territory that Russia has annexed and claims as its own.

However, Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin expressed his support for the withdrawal, calling it the "biggest achievement" made by Surovikin because of his stated desire to keep Russian troops safe. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov agreed with Prigozhin's assessment and claimed that Surovikin had saved thousands of lives and was looking for more profitable positions.

The Kremlin and senior Russian commanders appear to have learned informational and military lessons from previous failures and are likely to apply them to the presentation and execution of this withdrawal, ISW notes, interpreting the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not commented on the withdrawal. This suggests that "the Kremlin is presenting the withdrawal as a purely military decision."

Ukrainian military officials remained largely operationally silent on the situation in the Kherson region on November 9, despite confirmation by Russian military officials that Russian troops were withdrawing from the west bank of the Dnieper River. Ukraine's Southern Operational Command noted that Russian forces are continuing their defensive actions and trying to prepare retreat positions. An adviser in the Ukrainian president's office, Mykhailo Podolyak, said Ukraine had seen no signs that Russian troops would withdraw without a fight - which coincided with ISW's assessment that Russian forces would conduct a combat withdrawal. Ukrainian military sources called for operational silence due to expectations of imminent Ukrainian success on the front line.

A Russian military blogger reports that Russian troops are undermining bridges along key withdrawal routes and conducting a controlled withdrawal from settlements northwest and northeast of Kherson city.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) continues to claim that Russian troops have repelled Ukrainian attacks in the northern part of Kherson Oblast northwest of Berislav around Sadok, Kachkarovka and Pyatihatki.

On November 9, Ukrainian troops continued their successful campaign to cross Russian concentration areas in the Kherson region amid reports of a Russian retreat. Residents reported explosions and activation of Russian air defenses in the area of ​​Nova Kakhovska region around Nova Kakhovska, Kakhovska and Lyubimivka (70 km east of the city of Kherson). Ukraine's Southern Operational Command confirmed that Ukrainian strikes destroyed Russian ammunition depots in Snegurivka.

Amnesty: Russia may be committing crimes against humanity by deporting Ukrainians

Russia may have committed crimes against humanity by forcibly relocating Ukrainian civilians from Russian-occupied areas of the country to other regions, Amnesty International reported.

The organization said civilians were being moved from occupied Ukraine further into Russian-controlled areas or into Russia, with children being separated from their families in violation of international humanitarian law.

Amnesty said civilians told it they had been subjected to "vetting abuses", known as filtering, which sometimes led to arbitrary detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

"Separating children from their families and forcing people hundreds of kilometers from their homes is further evidence of the severe suffering that the Russian invasion has caused to the civilian population of Ukraine," said Agnes Callamard, Secretary-General of Amnesty International.

"Russia's reprehensible tactic of forcible transfer and deportation is a war crime. Amnesty International believes it should be investigated as a crime against humanity," the organization said.

Amnesty reported that in one case, a woman was separated from her 11-year-old son during the filtration, detained and not reunited with him.

The rights group said it interviewed 88 people, most of them civilians from Mariupol, as well as residents from Kharkiv, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

"Most of them, especially those from Mariupol, described the coercive conditions that they had no choice but to go to Russia or other Russian-occupied areas," the report said.

The transfer "constitutes a war crime and possibly a crime against humanity," the report said.

The report is one of Amnesty's most significant interventions into Russia's invasion of Ukraine since it angered Kyiv in August. The organization released a report accusing Ukraine of endangering civilians by setting up bases in schools and hospitals.

The group then said it supported the report's findings, prompting the head of Amnesty's Ukraine office to resign in protest, accusing the rights group of repeating Kremlin propaganda.

But the organization also admitted the report had caused "concern and anger".

In its latest announcement, Amnesty stressed that it was documenting "war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law committed during Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict" and called for the officials to be brought to justice.

Romania and Ukraine open a new border crossing on their common border

Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and his Ukrainian colleague Denis Shmigal will participate today in the opening of a new border post and customs office on the common border, Agerpress agency reported, quoted by BTA.

The new point is located near the villages of Vicovu de Sus on the Romanian side and Krasnoilsk - on the Ukrainian side. The decision to open the crossing point was approved by the Romanian government yesterday.

Romanian government spokesman Dan Carbunaru indicated that this is the first border crossing opened since the Russian military aggression in Ukraine, between Ukraine and a member state of the European Union. According to the spokesman, this border post will cover both international pedestrian and vehicular passenger traffic, as well as cargo traffic, with a permanent operating schedule, thereby speeding up and facilitating the crossing of the border by people and vehicles.

The Romanian Prime Minister and his Ukrainian counterpart will meet in the Romanian part of the Vicovu de Sus - Krasnoilsk border crossing.

After that, a meeting of the Romanian Prime Minister with representatives of the local public administration of Suceava County (Northern Romania) is planned, in which the Chairman of the County Council, Gheorghe Flutur, will participate.

Italy ends arms supplies to Ukraine

Italy is not preparing new arms deliveries to Ukraine, Defense Minister Guido Crosetto told the newspaper "Il Messaggero".

"We are not preparing a sixth package with a list of weapons for Kyiv and we are not talking about supplying missiles to Ukraine. I do not rule out that in the future there will be a new resolution within the framework of NATO and the EU for further military assistance to Ukraine, but for now we are ending arms supplies promised by the previous government," he said.

Crosetto recalled that the military aid was granted within the framework of a resolution approved by a majority in the parliament.

"We have a framework that allows us to make a decision on military supplies by December 31," the defense chief said.

However, he does not rule out the possibility that the authorities will reconsider their approach.

Crosetto identified negotiations as the only real solution to the conflict.

"Since the beginning of the conflict, I have been talking about the need for dialogue between the parties. They must stop the fighting, sit down at the negotiating table and achieve peace," concluded the minister.

La Repubblica newspaper reported that in mid-November Italy may pass a new decree on military aid to Ukraine. Il Messaggero then quoted government sources as saying that Rome had frozen the sixth aid package. This week Reuters, citing a representative of the Italian government coalition, reported that Rome is ready to provide Ukraine with various air defense systems, including medium-range SAMP/T air defense systems produced by France and Italy, Italian Aspide missiles, as well as portable Stinger systems.

Russia sent a diplomatic note to all countries involved in the supply of arms to the Kyiv regime. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the shipments were a legitimate target for the Russian air force.

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Tags: Zelensky, Kherson, Ukraine, Russia


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