Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian forces are completing the liberation of the western (right) bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
  • Ukrainian troops have made major territorial gains throughout Kherson Oblast on November 11 and will continue consolidating control of the western bank in the coming days.
  • Russian milbloggers criticized the Russian MoD’s statements about the Russian withdrawal to the left bank but generally took a more muted attitude to Ukrainian gains.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations towards Kreminna and Svatove, Luhansk Oblast, and Ukrainian forces targeted Russian logistics in rear Luhansk Oblast.
  • Russian forces continued ground assaults around Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Vuhledar.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian force concentrations in Zaporizhia Oblast.
  • Wagner Group financer Yevgeny Prigozhin continued to form parallel military structures in Belgorod and Kursk oblasts, even though there is no threat of a Ukrainian ground invasion into Russian territory.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) subpar conduct of partial mobilization continues to generate social tension.
  • Ukrainian partisans continued to target Russian occupation authorities.

Ukrainian forces are completing the liberation of the western (right) bank of Kherson Oblast after the Russians retreated from it. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces completed the withdrawal to the eastern (left) bank of the Dnipro River at 5am local time on November 11.[1] While contingents of Russian soldiers likely remain on the west bank, they are likely scattered throughout the Oblast and attempting to retreat as Ukrainian forces push towards the Dnipro River, although some may have remained behind to attempt to conduct partisan activities in small groups. It is unclear how many Russian soldiers remain on the west bank at this time. Russian sources noted that the withdrawal lasted three days and claimed that 20,000 Russian personnel and 3,500 units of military equipment moved across the Dnipro River.[2]

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Satellite imagery corroborates statements made by both Ukrainian and Russian sources that Russian troops destroyed the Antonivsky Bridge and Railway Bridge (near Kherson City) and the Nova Kakhovka dam bridge (east of Kherson City near Nova Kakhovka) over the Dnipro River and the Darivka Bridge (northeast of Kherson City) over the Inhulets River in a final attempt to block Ukrainian advances towards central Kherson Oblast (see images in-line with text).[3] Geolocated satellite imagery also indicates that Russian troops have prepared first and second lines of defense south of the Dnipro River and will likely continue efforts to consolidate positions on the left bank in the coming days.[4]

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 21, 2024
Other Topics of Interest

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 21, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.
Overview of the damage to the Antonivsky Bridge on November 11. Source: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
Closer view of damage to the damaged section of the Nova Kakhovka dam on November 11. Source: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Ukrainian troops made major territorial gains throughout Kherson Oblast on November 11 and will continue consolidating control of the western bank in the coming days. Geolocated footage and imagery shows that Ukrainian forces have advanced into Kherson City likely along the T1501 highway from the west and M14 from the north and have taken control of Kherson City and several surrounding settlements along these roads.[5] The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) notably confirmed that Ukrainian troops advanced into Kherson City, and geolocated social media footage shows civilians greeting Ukrainian troops in the center of Kherson City.[6] Ukrainian troops also notably took control of Kyselivka and Chornobaivka, two critical settlements along the M14 northwest of Kherson City.[7] Geolocated social media additionally shows that Ukrainian troops have advanced south along T1505 highway from positions in Snihurivka (northeast of the Kherson-Mykolaiv Oblast border) and liberated several settlements on this line, including Lymanets and Inhulets.[8] Ukrainian forces entered Beryslav (60km east of Kherson City), and social media footage provides evidence of Ukrainian troops in settlements along the P47 highway that runs westward from the Beryslav area towards Kherson City.[9] Footage posted to Telegram notably shows Ukrainian troops in Tiahynka, a settlement between Kherson City and Beryslav, directly on the western shore of the Dnipro River.[10] Ukrainian forces will continue to drive down major roads towards the Dnipro River and liberate additional settlements in the coming days.

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ISW has recoded all western Kherson Oblast as liberated based on our high confidence assessment that the Russians have deprived themselves of the ability to hold terrain on the right bank of the Dnipro. Ukrainian forces will complete the liberation of any areas not yet under their control rapidly.

Russian milbloggers criticized the Russian MoD’s statements about the Russian withdrawal to the left bank but generally took a more muted attitude to Ukrainian gains on November 11. The Russian MoD claimed that Russian forces did not leave a single piece of equipment behind during the withdrawal period, which certain milbloggers directly refuted as blatantly untrue.[11] Many milbloggers, however, presented a relatively matter-of-fact overview of the situation in Kherson Oblast, largely confirmed Ukrainian gains, and emphasized that the retreat itself was a militarily-sound and necessary choice.[12] As ISW previously reported, Russian military leadership, namely Commander of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, Army General Sergey Surovikin, have been developing informational cover to set conditions for the loss of the right bank.[13] The generally muted milblogger response to such a massive Russian defeat is consistent with ISW’s previous observations of informational mitigations carried out by Surovikin and suggests that milbloggers will continue to focus their discontent on the Russian MoD establishment while backing Surovikin — at least for now.

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