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ISW: Russia likely faces trouble redeploying troops to Kherson front

ISW assessed that any potential Russian redeployment to the Kherson direction will likely degrade the Russian ability to sustain other operations and efforts
Assessed control of terrain around Kherson as of 10th November, 2023. Credit: ISW
ISW: Russia likely faces trouble redeploying troops to Kherson front

The Russian military will likely have difficulty redeploying combat-ready reinforcements to counter current Ukrainian operations in eastern Kherson Oblast while also defending western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and sustaining other offensive efforts in eastern Ukraine, ISW reported.

On 9 November, Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces established control over new positions in Krynky (30km northeast of Kherson City and 2km from the Dnipro River) and conducted assaults towards Russian positions south and southwest of the settlement.

Russian milbloggers also claimed that Ukraine also attacked near Poyma (12km east of Kherson City and 4km from the Dnipro River), Pishchanivka (13km east of Kherson City and 3km from the Dnipro River), and Pidstepne (17km east of Kherson City and 4km from the Dnipro River) and are trying to establish positions between Pidstepne and Kozachi Laheri (23km northeast of Kherson City and 2km from the Dnipro River).

Meanwhile, Ukrainian military observer Konstyantyn Mashovets stated that Ukrainian forces have established continuous control of positions from the Antonivsky railway bridge north of Poyma to the Antonivsky roadway bridge north of Oleshky (7km south of Kherson and 4km from the Dnipro River) as of November 9 and have cut the Oleshky-Nova Kakhovka (53km northeast of Kherson City) road in at least two areas.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, the main Russian forces responding to the Ukrainian ground operations on the east bank of Kherson Oblast appear to be elements of the Russian 18th Combined Arms Army’s 22nd Army Corps, 70th Motorized Rifle Division, and the 177th Naval Infantry Regiment. The 18th CAA was reportedly formed from other units previously in Kherson, and it’s unlikely that new units have fresh forces. The 177th Naval Infantry Regiment previously defended western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and has likely suffered significant casualties.

On 5 November, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that unspecified elements of the 7th Guards Airborne Division are in Kherson, although most of the division seems to be in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Mashovets claimed the 7th VDV’s 171st Air Assault Battalion is near Pishchanivka and Poyma, but it’s unclear if they recently arrived. Some sources say elements of the 49th Combined Arms Army have left Kherson for the Zaporizhzhia-Donetsk Oblast border, but Mashovets stated parts remain in the “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces.

The ISW reported that the Russian command will likely struggle to bring in units from other sectors if the current forces in Kherson prove insufficient

Redeployments of considerable elements of the 7th VDV Division or other VDV formations and units in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast would likely disrupt Russian defensive operations there. Russian forces reportedly continue to accumulate forces for sustaining the Russian offensive effort near Avdiivka and localized offensive operations in Kharkiv and Luhansk oblasts.

“Any potential Russian redeployment to the Kherson direction will likely degrade the Russian ability to sustain other operations and efforts,” ISW concluded.

Other takeaways from the ISW report:

  • Russian forces have likely launched opportunistic localized offensive operations in the Bakhmut direction and intensified ground attacks near Bakhmut in recent days.
  • Russian forces struck a civilian ship near Odesa City on November 8.
  • Russia may seek to provide gas to Iran through Kazakhstan.
  • Occupation authorities reportedly continued efforts to militarize Ukrainian youth.

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