10 November 2022, 02:55 PM
Russia quits Kherson city, Russian elites scared of Prigozhin, business mood improves
- Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered Russian forces to retreat across the Dnipro River.
This likely includes a full retreat from the occupied provincial capital of Kherson. According to aerial reconnaissance, Russian forces are leaving homemade mannequins at abandoned positions to gain some time. According to the Ukrainian media outlet GRUNT, such positions could be seen on the first defense line of Russian troops who are in a hurry to flee to the left bank of the Dnipro River. Russia is also blowing all the bridges across the Dnipro, reports say.
- Coincidentally – or not – the head of the Kherson occupation authority, collaborator Kyrylo Stremousov, died in a purported accident.
- Russian elites are reportedly worried about the rising influence of Wagner mercenary company owner Yevgeny Prigozhin.
According to Bloomberg, the rise of outspoken hardliners in the Kremlin is alarming insiders fearful that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin will heed calls for even more confrontation abroad and sweeping repression at home. Prigozhin’s public calls for “urgent Stalinist repression” against business tycoons who aren’t sufficiently enthusiastic about supporting the war effort have led some rich Russians to fear for their own safety and that of their families, Bloomberg said.
- Ukraine is looking to expand the grain deal for another year and reopen more ports.
These ports are located in Mykolaiv Oblast, and handled 35% of Ukrainian food exports before Russia's invasion. Kyiv also demands that the procedure of mandatory inspections of ships with grain be improved, believing that Russia is deliberately slowing down the process to reduce the speed of the export flow.
- Russia has likely lost up to half of its total usable tank complement during the course of its full-scale war against Ukraine.
A senior Pentagon official said that the war was a “massive strategic failure” for the Kremlin, and that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had “bogged down more than 80% of (the Russians’) land forces in Ukraine.” Additionally, sanctions and export controls will make it difficult for Russia to even rebuild Its military, which has used nearly all of its precision-guided munitions against Ukraine.
- Uzbek authorities are lobbying the European Union to lift sanctions on Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
The oligarch, believed to be one of “Putin’s favorites”, maintains close ties with Uzbekistan, where he was born. Tashkent argues that sanctions against him, including an asset freeze and travel ban, have limited the billionaire's ability to invest some of his wealth in the country. Usmanov's sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, was also sanctioned on the grounds that she was the legal owner of some of the oligarch's assets, including the $600 million superyacht Dilbar.
- Russia begins to mine Mariupol and the surrounding area.
Likely expecting a tough fight, Moscow has begun to plant mines in Mariupol’s suburbs, in addition to crafting defensive fortifications known as ‘dragon’s teeth.’ Mayoral advisor Petro Andriushchenko added that these actions indicate an accelerated and intensified strengthening of the defense of the Russian occupation in the city.
- A high-ranking Russian security official, Nikolai Patrushev, has gone to Tehran for ‘negotiations.’
“With the official invitation of Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the National Security Council of Russia, arrived in Tehran on Tuesday evening, November 8,” the Iranian state-run outlet Nour News tweeted.
The Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine is investigating a case of tax evasion by the management of a large oil refinery.
According to them, ESBU agents, in cooperation with the SBU security service, are conducting searches at the facility. The ESBU believes the tax evasion scheme also involves a number of companies involved in supplying fuel and lubricants, which are owned by one of the richest Ukrainian oligarchs. According to the investigation, officials at these businesses are thought to have underestimated their tax liabilities from excise taxes in 2019-2022.
- In spite of war, constant shelling, and air raids, business moods in Ukraine have actually improved for the second quarter in a row.
That’s according to Chairman of the Parliament Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, Danylo Hetmantsev, citing the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. “Although business indicators haven’t reached yet the level we would like to see them at, business expectations still became better two quarters in a row,” Hetmantsev wrote.
- The day’s long read: Bipartisan backing for Ukraine to continue after midterms, but not without strings attached
In New York, NV’s Nika Melkozerova observes the 2022 U.S. midterms, and looks into what their outcomes could mean for support of Ukraine.