Russia announced surrender of Kherson: truth or dare? What we know

November 10, 2022

Shoigu and Surovikin announced the withdrawal of troops from Kherson. It may be IPSO, but the escape seems logical.

Russia announced the withdrawal of occupational troops from the right bank of Kherson region. If this is true, then the Russians are planning to flee from Kherson, the only regional centre that the Russian army has managed to seize since February 24.

At the same time, experts consider the decision to flee to be logical from a military point of view. "Such a grouping of troops with so limited supply possibilities means a sheer disaster," Razumkov Centre military expert Oleksiy Melnyk told

WHAT HAPPENED. On November 9, the commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin, reporting to the Russian Defence Minister Federation Sergey Shoigu about the situation at the front, proposed to organise defence on the left bank of the river Dnieper. According to Surovikin, "full supply of Kherson is impossible in the current situation." 

"Start the withdrawal of troops and ensure all measures for safe redeployment of equipment, weapons and personnel across the river Dnieper," Shoigu said, agreeing to Surovikin's proposal. 

The day before, photos of bridges allegedly blown up by the Russian occupiers in Kherson region — in the areas of Snihurivka, Tyahinka, Novokayiry and Darivka — appeared in social networks.

Even earlier, the Kremlin worked out methodological recommendations for the Russian propagandists, to prepare the "public opinion" in Russia that the occupiers may leave the city.

At the end of October, the occupiers began deporting local residents from temporarily occupied Kherson and the right bank "to the left bank of the Dnieper" and "to other regions of Russia." In addition, they took municipal vehicles, medical equipment and medicines from Kherson to temporarily occupied Crimea. 

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT. Ukraine sees no signs that Russia is leaving Kherson without a fight, Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President's Office, said. According to him, a significant part of the Russian group remains in the city, additional reserves are being brought to the region.

At the end of October, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence, Vadym Skibitskyi reported that Kherson is being defended by 30,000 to 50,000 Russian soldiers who have no intention of leaving the city.

"Such a grouping of troops with so limited supply possibilities mean a sheer disaster, because if the troops are not withdrawn, they will face a defeat," Razumkov Centre military expert Oleksiy Melnyk told

WHAT GOES NEXT. "We know whom we are dealing with, and we should not expect that the Russians will just leave and clean up the "garbage" after themselves. They will try to slam the door loudly," Melnyk says.

We need to be vigilant, says Lozynskyi. "There are blown-up bridges and the mined right bank ahead. There may be a lot of traps," he explains. "We must minimise the losses that, unfortunately, will occur during the return of the cities and villages of Kherson region."


Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes, Coordinator of International Projects

Born in 1962 in Khmelnytsty Rgn


Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK (2007)

Air Field Operations Officer School, Biloxy, MS, US (2001)

Squadron Officer School, Montgomery, AL, US (1994)

Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, TX, US (1994)

Chernihiv Higher Military Air Force Academy, Ukraine (1984)


1980 – 2001 — Air Force Active Service (Cadet, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Air Force Base Commander, Participant of two UN peacekeeping operations, Lt.Colonel (Ret)

2001 – 2004 — Razumkov Centre

2004 – 2005 — State Company Ukroboronservice

2005 – 2008 — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Head Organisational and Analytical Division — First Assistant to Minister of Defence

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