Ukraine: Russian Defense Chief Orders Troop Withdrawal Behind Dnieper

General Surovikin’s Report to Sergei Shoigu on the Situation in the Special Operation Area on 9 November 2022

Full Text:

Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Army General S.K. Shoigu: Sergei Vladimirovich, report on the situation in the area of the special military operation.

Commander of the Joint Group of Forces (Forces) in the Special Military Operation Area, Army General Surovikin S.V: Comrade Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation!

On the whole, the situation in the area of the special military operation has stabilized. The combat capabilities of the combined grouping of troops and forces have significantly increased. We have increased the combat and troop strength of formations and military units thanks to the mobilized citizens and volunteers, and additional reserves have been created.

Active actions of formations and units of the Joint Group of Forces (forces) prevented all attempts of offensive actions of the armed forces of Ukraine in Kupyan and Krasnoliman directions. In addition, offensive actions were resumed in certain directions. In the Donetsk direction, the defeat of the enemy was completed on the right bank of the Bakhmutka River south of Artemivsk. Active actions are currently underway to blockade the city from the southern direction. Street battles are taking place on the eastern outskirts of Artemivsk.

A successful offensive to liberate Marinka and Pervomaiskoye is underway.The liberation of Pavlovka settlement in the South Donets direction is nearing completion. Group troops pushed the enemy back near Vremevka and occupied the dominating heights in the depth of its defense.

The enemy suffered considerable losses in manpower and equipment. During October alone the enemy lost more than 12,000 servicemen, 18 airplanes, 12 helicopters, six anti-aircraft missile systems, more than 200 tanks, more than 800 other armored fighting vehicles and 21 rocket launchers. Some 350 mercenaries were killed. Despite high losses in manpower and equipment, the enemy does not abandon the attempts of attack. All his attacks are timely suppressed, incursions into our defenses are liquidated, and the situation along the front line is restored.

Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Army General S. K. Shoigu: Sergei Vladimirovich, I draw your attention to the training and use of mobilized servicemen. Before being sent to combat areas, it is necessary to station them in rear areas, where we should conduct joint training with personnel who have combat experience. Only servicemen with skills in their military specialties should be sent to the front lines. In the units staffed with mobilized servicemen, assign officers capable of uniting military teams and organizing tasks under any conditions.

Army General Surovikin S.V., commander of the Joint Group of Forces (Forces) in the area of the North Caucasus Military District: There are.

Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, Army General S. K. Shoigu: Sergei Vladimirovich, earlier you reported on the situation in the Kherson direction. The defense here is stable, but there are peculiarities. How are things now?

Commander of the Joint Group of Forces (Forces) in the area of the SAF, Army General Surovikin S.V.: Comrade Minister of Defence. I report. We are successfully resisting all the enemy’s offensive attempts.

In the period from August till October the AFU lost more than 9,500 servicemen killed and wounded, more than 200 tanks, 500 armoured combat vehicles, about 600 vehicles of various purposes and more than 50 artillery pieces and mortars to repulse their attacks in the region.

As you know, the attacking side bears higher losses than the one in the defense. In this case our losses are 7-8 times less than the enemy’s. We are thinking, first of all, about the lives of each Russian serviceman.

The enemy is striking at local government bodies, schools, hospitals, other socially significant facilities, civilians who are evacuating to the other bank of the Dnieper River, and humanitarian aid distribution points. We successfully repel these attacks. About 80-90 per cent of the missiles are shot down by Russian air defence means. At the same time, up to 20 per cent of them still reach their targets. Engineering units of the group of troops are restoring the Dnieper river crossings almost daily and are taking measures to keep them in good working order.

Under these conditions, the city of Kherson and the surrounding settlements cannot be fully supplied and operate. People’s lives are in constant danger due to shelling.

The enemy is firing indiscriminately into the city, and prohibited methods of warfare may be used.

The regional administration has decided to evacuate the population from the right bank of the Dnieper River to the Crimea and other regions for this reason. At present, all those wishing to leave, which is more than 115,000 people, have left the area. We have done everything possible on our part to ensure their safety during the evacuation.

The implementation of the enemy’s plans to create a flood zone below the Kakhovskaya HPP may lead to dangerous consequences. This is evidenced by the constant missile strikes on the Kakhovskaya HPP dam, as well as on the spillway gates of this dam. On September 26, for example, one of the spillway gates was struck and damaged.

Intense water discharge through Kyivska HPP dam and hydropower plant downstream, carried out since October 10, is also the cause of concern on the spillage of this river, in the area of its bed, and flooding of coastal areas.

Should the Kiev regime go ahead with a further increase in the release of water from the reservoirs or a more powerful missile attack on the Kakhovka dam, a torrent of water would form that would create extensive flood zones, resulting in significant civilian casualties.

There will be an additional threat to the civilian population and complete isolation of our grouping of troops on the right bank of the Dnieper.

Under these conditions, the most feasible option is to organize defense along the barrier line of the Dnieper River.

Comrade Minister of Defense, having comprehensively assessed the current situation, it is proposed to take up defense along the left bank of the Dnieper River. I understand that this is a very difficult decision. At the same time, most importantly, we will save the lives of our troops and the overall combat effectiveness of the group of troops that it would be futile to keep on the right bank in a limited area. Moreover, some forces and means will be released for active operations, including the offensive order, in other directions in the area of the operation.

Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Army General S.K. Shoigu: Sergey Vladimirovich, I agree with your conclusions and proposals. For us, the life and health of Russian servicemen is always a priority. We must also take into account the threat to civilians.

Make sure that all willing civilians are able to leave. Proceed with the withdrawal of troops and take all measures to ensure the safe transfer of personnel, weapons, and equipment across the Dnieper River.

Commander of the Joint Group of Forces (Forces) in the area of the SAF, Army General Surovikin S.V.: There are. The manoeuvre of troops will be carried out in the near future. The formations and units will occupy the defensive lines and positions prepared in engineering respect on the left bank of the Dnieper River. The report finished.

Shoigu approved Surovikin’s plan to defend the Kherson direction.

Sergei Surovikin, commander of the United Group of Forces in the NWO zone, reported to Sergei Shoigu on the situation at the front and in Kherson. The army general suggested to the Minister of Defense to organize defense along the barrier line of the Dnieper River.


Chechen Head Kadyrov Backs Decision to Relocate Russian Forces From Parts of Kherson

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has praised Sergei Surovikin, the Russian Army general appointed commander of all Russian forces in Ukraine, for his decision to withdraw Russian forces from parts of Kherson.

I completely agree with Mr. Prigozhin’s opinion about Surovikin’s decision. Evgeny Viktorovich noted very accurately that Surovikin saved a thousand soldiers in a de facto encirclement.

Having weighed all the pros and cons, General Surovikin made a difficult but correct choice between senseless sacrifices for the sake of loud statements and saving priceless lives of soldiers.

Kherson is a very difficult area without the possibility of a stable regular supply of ammunition and the formation of a strong, reliable rear. Why was this not done from the first days of the special operation? That is another question. But in this difficult situation the general acted wisely and far-sightedly – he evacuated the civilian population and gave the order to regroup.

So there is no need to talk about “surrendering” Kherson. “Surrender” along with the fighters. And Surovikin both spares his soldiers and takes a more advantageous strategic position – comfortable, safe.

The fact that Kherson is heavy combat territory, everyone knew from the very first days of the special operation. Soldiers of my units also reported that it was very difficult to fight in this area. Yes, it can be held and at least some ammunition can be brought in, but the price will be the loss of many human lives. And such a prognosis does not suit us.

This is why I think Surovikin acted as a real combat general, one who is not afraid of criticism.

He is responsible for people. He knows best.

Thank you, Sergey, for keeping your guys safe! We’ll fulfill the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, we won’t stop beating the enemy, and we won’t tire.