Ukrainian forces have retaken 12 settlements in the south, advancing seven kilometers in two directions in the past 24 hours, Ukrainian army chief Valeriy Zaluzhniy said November 10 as Russia ordered one of the largest war retreats.
Zaluzhniy said Kyiv could not yet confirm whether Russia was indeed withdrawing from the southern Kherson region, but said Ukrainian forces were continuing their advance.
“We continue to carry out the offensive operation in accordance with our plan,” he wrote in a message on Telegram.
On Nov. 9, Russia said its forces would withdraw from the west bank of the Dnieper, which includes Kherson, the only regional capital Moscow had captured since its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine began in February.
Kherson is strategically important, as it controls both the only land route to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula and the mouth of the Dnieper, which bisects Ukraine.
Zaluzhniy said Ukrainian forces advanced from Pervomaiske towards Kherson and from Petropavlivka towards Novoraysk, roughly parallel to the Dnieper.
We did not know what Pervomaiske Zaluhniy meant. There are two settlements named Pervomaiske relatively close to the city of Kherson, one located about 25 kilometers southeast and the other about 50 kilometers north of the city.
Zaluzhniy said territorial gains totaled 264 square kilometers.
Earlier on November 10, Ukrainian forces said they had taken back Snihurivka, a strategic town in the southern Mykolaiv region, while repelling further Russian attacks in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, where heavy fighting has been going on for weeks.
In video footage posted on social media and Ukrainian national television, a Ukrainian soldier shouted: “Today, November 10, Snihurivka was liberated by the forces of the 131st Separate Intelligence Battalion. Glory to Ukraine!
The footage could not immediately be verified and there was no immediate confirmation of the recapture of the city by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, a day after Russia ordered its forces to stand down. remove from area.
Snihurivka, considered the last city occupied by Russia in the Mykolaiv region, is important for controlling a strategic road that leads to Kherson.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff earlier said it repelled further Russian attacks in Donetsk where Moscow continues to mount an offensive in the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka directions.
Ukraine’s military said it also repelled Russian attacks in Luhansk, which along with Donetsk includes the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.
Russian forces launched missiles and airstrikes and pounded more than 30 settlements with rockets in Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya, Mykolaiv, Sumy and Kherson regions, the army said.
The fierce fighting in the east came as Kyiv reacted skeptically to news of a Russian withdrawal from Kherson, noting that some Russian forces remained in the city and reinforcements were sent to the area.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, senior adviser to the Ukrainian president, said on November 10 that Moscow wanted to make Kherson a “city of death”, accusing Russia of mining everything from apartments to sewers and planning to bomb Kherson from the other side of the Dnieper river. .
“This is what (the) ‘Russian world’ looks like: came, robbed, celebrated, killed ‘witnesses’, left ruins and gone again,” he added. wrote on Twitter.
US General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said early indicators suggested Russia was continuing its withdrawal, but warned it could take time.
“It won’t take them a day or two. It’s going to take them days and maybe even weeks to pull those forces south of that river,” Milley said in New York on November 9, believing that Russia had probably 20,000 to 30,000 troops. north of the Dnieper River in this area.
Milley, the highest-ranking US general, said about 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded during the war, the highest estimate ever offered by a Western official.
Milley also suggested that around 40,000 civilians died after being caught up in the conflict.
Estimates could not be independently confirmed.
Kyiv and Moscow carefully monitor their casualty numbers.
Russia’s latest update in September said 5,937 soldiers had been killed since the conflict began on February 24.
“There has been a tremendous amount of suffering, human suffering,” Milley said, adding that the conflict had created between 15 and 30 million refugees.
The UN has registered 7.8 million people as refugees from Ukraine across Europe, including Russia. However, this figure does not include those who were forced to flee their homes but remained in Ukraine.