Kherson liberation makes work of Ukrainian Air Force harder, says Air Force Command

14 November 2022, 01:00 PM
With shorter lines of supply, Russians on left bank can operate air defenses more easily (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

With shorter lines of supply, Russians on left bank can operate air defenses more easily (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

After the liberation of the city of Kherson city, Russian invasion forces may find it easier to supply their air defenses, having shorter supply lines, Air Force Command spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on public broadcaster Suspilne TV on Nov. 13.

 “Kherson is de facto becoming a frontline city,” he said.

“This will somewhat complicate the task for our aviation. Now the river is the line of combat contact. While earlier it was harder for enemy air defense ammunition to be supplied to the west bank, now it will be it easier for them (to supply them on the east bank).”

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According to Ihnat, the Russian military will be strengthening defenses on the east bank of the Dnipro, including reinforcing its air defenses.

"Therefore, we need to prepare for this and take these things into account," he added.

“There will be artillery duels and drone warfare.”

The Ukrainian army on Nov. 11 liberated the key southern city of Kherson, which had been occupied since the first days of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24. Ukrainian flags are now flying in the city and near the city administration building.

Days before, the Russian flag was removed from the city administration building in Kherson, sparking speculation that Russia was about to retreat from the city.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy officially announced the liberation of Kherson in the evening of Nov. 11. He warned that not all of the invaders had fled the city, and said that the Ukrainian army was continuing its work to remove them.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense has said the clearing of the city of Russian troops and saboteurs could take several weeks.

As of Nov. 12, the Ukrainian army had liberated from Russian occupation about 3,000 square kilometers (1,160 square miles) in the south of the country. The General Staff reported that its troops have reached the Dnipro River in several places in Kherson Oblast.

Early, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu and General Sergey Surovikin, the commander of the Russian invasion force in Ukraine, announced that their troops were to “regroup” on the other side of the Dnipro, and the order to retreat to the eastern bank of the river was issued on Nov. 9.

On the morning of Nov. 11, the Russian Defense Ministry reported the full withdrawal from the western bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. They said about 30,000 troops and 5,000 pieces of military equipment had been evacuated from the part of Kherson Oblast liberated by Ukraine.

The Ukrainian army has recovered tanks, APCs and ammunition left behind by the retreating Russians, and some Russian soldiers who had changed into civilian clothing have been captured.

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