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Russia To Withdraw From Kherson, Could Set Up Stalemate


Russia has confirmed with intended withdrawal of its troops from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. This follows significant Ukrainian advances in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

  • The withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson could lead to a long-term military stalemate depending on the actions of both sides. Kherson sits on the western bank of the wide Dnipro river. With Russian troops set to withdraw to the eastern bank, this would allow them to set up formidable defensive positions to repel any Ukrainian attempts to cross.
  • There are numerous concerns about the immediate term conflict. There is speculation that the Russian withdrawal could be a feint, with Russia instead planning to launch an attack. There are also concerns that Russia could blow the Kakhovka Dam upstream from Kherson.
  • The development of a stalemate at Kherson could be seen as an opportunity for talks to begin between Russia and Ukraine. Tom Soufi Burridge at ABC News tweets: "US messaging on Ukraine has undergone a dramatic shift: [US chair of Joint Chiefs] Gen Mark Milley last night: “there has to be a mutual recognition that military victory is probably in the true sense of the word may be not achievable through military means” [...] These were not casual remarks. They would have been carefully thought through. [...] It’s hard to imagine Zelensky could accept anything less than pre-February lines. But that would surely be unacceptable to Putin. This is an overly simplistic characterization but it illustrates how difficult any negotiation would be - especially when you throw in public opinion."
Map of Kherson and Surrounds

Source: BBC, Institute for the Study of War. N.b. Control as of 2100GMT 8 Nov

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