The Russian armed forces continue to withdraw from the western part of the occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine as they prepare to try to slow the advance of the Ukrainian army in counter-offensive, reports the Institute for the Study of War.
The Washington-based think tank predicted in its daily briefing that these attempts would only be partially effective.
The Ukrainian general staff announced that the Russian forces had completely abandoned their positions in Charivnoe and Chkalovo, about thirty kilometers northwest of Nova Kakhovka, and that Russian officers and doctors had been evacuated from the city of Berislav, on the shore right (west) of the Dnieper. At the same time, they are relocating patients from the Kakhovka hospital on the left (east) bank of the river, possibly to free up beds for Russian soldiers who may have been injured in the retreat, the Institute for War Studies said.
The Ukrainian general staff, whose claims were not independently confirmed, also noted that “some Russian elements” were preparing Kherson for urban combat, while other military personnel continued to flee the city on the ferry operating near the Antonovsky bridge. .
Yesterday, the British Defense Ministry announced that the Russian military has completed construction of a barge bridge along the structure damaged by Ukrainian bombing, which it said would become a critical crossing point for Russian troops while Ukrainian forces advance towards Kherson. There is information that a large part of the population of the city also left it, the summary also says.
Yesterday, the Russian-appointed occupation authorities asked all Kherson residents to evacuate immediately.
Moscow uses mercenaries to defend the occupied territories
According to the latest estimates by the British Defense Ministry, Russia, despite the high costs, is using mercenaries to protect the territories it occupies in Ukraine, possibly attempting as a reaction to Ukraine’s swift counter-offensive, DPA reported.
Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin said on the Internet on Oct.19 that his engineering teams are building a vast fortified “Wagner Line” of defenses in Russian-occupied Lugansk and has published a map of the project, the ministry said. British. “The images showed a section of the newly constructed anti-tank defenses and trench systems southeast of Kremennaya in Luhansk,” analysts said. If the plans are as far-reaching as Prigozhin claims, the goal is likely that the defense zone include the Seversky Donetsk River.
For several years, Russia has used the Wagner group in conflicts, including in Syria and the Central African Republic. A video recently sparked concern after it appeared to show the leader of a mercenary group recruiting Russian prisoners to fight in Ukraine.
Ukraine is currently trying to push Russian forces out of Kherson. Last week, Russian officials acknowledged that Moscow’s position in the southern region was shaken and warned that a major Ukrainian counter-offensive was expected.
Shoigu says Ukraine could use a “dirty bomb” but does not provide evidence
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said today in a conversation with his French counterpart that the situation in Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating and heading into “uncontrollable escalation,” Reuters reported.
In a phone call with French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, the content of which was leaked from the Russian side, Shoigu said Moscow feared Ukraine might use a “dirty bomb” in the conflict, but provided no evidence to support it. that statement.
“They discussed the rapid deterioration of the situation in Ukraine,” the defense ministry said. “The trend is towards further uncontrolled escalation.”
A so-called dirty bomb uses conventional explosives mixed with radioactive material.
The Russian defense ministry did not provide further information on his statement, Reuters noted.
This morning, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Ukraine planned to detonate a “dirty bomb” on its territory, the BBC noted. The Russian agency cited “credible sources in various countries, including Ukraine” but did not provide evidence.
This week, experts from the US-based Institute for the Study of War said – based on open sources – that Moscow could prepare an intelligence background for a foreign flag provocation. The institute’s hypothesis is that the Russian army could blow up the wall of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power plant to cover their retreat from the right bank of the Dnieper and delay Kiev’s advance. According to the institute, the Kremlin could use this provocation to distract from the news of the humiliating retreat of the Russian forces.