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Reports of Ukrainian intelligence in Kherson and a Russian flag in Pavlivka. What's happening on the front line?

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Following the announcement of Russia's withdrawal from Kherson, which its command called “the withdrawal of troops across the Dnipro river,” the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have continued to retake villages in the Kherson region. A total of 12 settlements have been liberated by Ukraine over the past 24 hours, said AFU commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhniy. President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 41 settlements had already been liberated.

In the Petropavlivka-Novoraisk direction, AFU units have advanced 7 kilometers and captured 6 settlements, liberating up to 107 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory. In the Pervomaiske-Kherson direction, the AFU advanced 7 km and took control of 6 settlements, liberating a total of area of 157 square kilometers.

Reports of Ukraine's advance into Kherson

The pro-Russian Telegram channel Grey Zone, affiliated with the Wagner PMC, wrote that Ukrainian Military Intelligence (HUR) specialists and Special Operations Forces (SSO) have entered Kherson. Small groups are now conducting patrols to identify ambushes and potential guerrillas, as well as equipping observation points.

During the day, the AFU announced the capture of Snihurivka, a town located on the bank of the Inhulets River in the Mykolaiv region. The town, located 54 km from Kherson, has a convenient bridgehead and railway junction. The AFU’s 131st reconnaissance battalion posted a video from the settlement.

The AFU is also flying the Ukrainian flag in the village of Bruskynske in the Kherson region, judging from a video posted by servicemen. The footage shows the men displaying the date – November 9 – on their phone.

The Ukrainian army has regained control of Kyselivka in the Kherson region and the village of Borozenske in the Beryslav district, as evidenced by numerous photos and videos.

The villages of Yevhenivka and Bobrovy Kut on the border of the Kherson and Mikolayiv regions, Pavlivka village in the Snihurivsky district of the Mykolayiv region, as well as the Pyatikhatki, Novokairy and Kucherske settlements in the Kherson region have all returned under Ukrainian control.

Videos of abandoned Russian trophy equipment posted by Ukrainian servicemen are being circulated on social media.

One of the published videos shows a trophy T-72B3 battle tank of the AFU towing a trophy T-90A tank in the Kherson region.

As military columnist and coordinator of the “Information Resistance” group Konstantin Mashovets explained to The Insider, the Russian grouping could have organized some defensive areas in Kherson to ensure cover of the retreating troops. He noted that Russia withdrew in an organized manner, without abandoning anything, and deliberately leaving some units behind.

“They have units that are covering the retreat and not allowing the AFU forces to advance and overtake the Russian units. Their large convoys are dragging everything they have stolen and looted. They’ve left some of the troops behind to be devoured – if they all try to leave at once, the Ukrainian troops will cut them up, so they’re forced to leave some of them on the lines to cover the withdrawal. These forces will probably have to be sacrificed, as it’s unlikely that they will be able to break away from the AFU.”

According to AFU commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhniy, the Ukrainian army cannot yet confirm or deny information about the so-called withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson. The Ukrainian troops are continuing “to conduct an offensive operation in accordance with its own plan.”

“Behind the enemy’s every so-called 'gesture of goodwill' are the enormous efforts of our troops. Just as the enemy withdrew from Kyiv and Kharkiv regions and left Snake Island, the likely withdrawal from Kherson is the result of our active operations. In the Kherson direction, the AFU destroyed logistic routes and support systems, and disrupted the enemy's troop control system. Thus we left the enemy no other choice but to resort to fleeing.”

Zaluzhniy noted that Ukrainian troops had advanced up to 36.5 km into the Russian defenses in the Kherson area since October 1. The total area of liberated Ukrainian territory has reached 1,381 square kilometers. Control over 41 settlements has been restored.

Military expert and reserve AFU colonel Roman Svitan told The Insider that Russia will now try to get Ukraine to the negotiating table, but neither the people nor the AFU will agree to that. With the help of the West, the country will continue to fight until the Russian army withdraws from Ukraine – including Crimea and Donbas.

“They’ve been talking about negotiating all month long. What do they want to negotiate about? That we give them the occupied territories? There’s no subject of conversation. There is an extremely sharp rejection of even the hint of negotiations. Even if the president starts to speak, he will be blown to hell, and he knows it.”

Former US Navy unit commander and analyst Chuck Pfarrer has argued that the successful withdrawal of Russian troops now depends on ferries, pontoon bridges previously destroyed by Russia and blown up road spans. According to him, all the crossings will become prime targets for Ukrainian artillery and “killing fields for Russian soldiers.”

Military analyst Def Mon has found confirmation of the liberation of at least 13 settlements, saying that the AFU is advancing “quite rapidly.” According to the analyst, the news are currently lagging behind real events by about “12 to 24 hours.”

Propagandists publish photo of Russian flag in Pavlivka

The pro-Russian military Telegram channel WarGonzo wrote that the “Kaskad” unit, along with marines from the 155th and 40th brigades, “took control” of the village of Pavlivka in the Donetsk region on November 9. The report said that Colonel General Aleksey Dikiy, head of the so-called “DPR’s” Interior Ministry, personally visited the village and “gave out awards and medals to distinguished soldiers.”

According to WarGonzo author and propagandist Semyon Pegov, the AFU is currently attempting to regain their lost positions.

Pavlivka lies on the outskirts of Vuhledar. On November 7, Governor Oleg Kozhemyako of Primorsky Krai acknowledged losses in the 155th Marine Guards Brigade during the offensive on the city. A few days earlier, Russian military correspondent Alexander Sladkov reported on the “difficult situation” surrounding the 155th brigade. According to him, the soldiers stationed near Pavlivka in the Vuhledar direction had sent a letter to the governor complaining about the poorly prepared offensive.

Russian losses

According to data cited by the AFU General Staff, Russia suffered the greatest losses in the Lyman and Avdiivka areas, while total Russian army personnel losses since February 24 now amount to 78,690. In total, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers have been wounded or killed in the war, according to Mark Milley, head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The AFU has also reported destroying 2,804 tanks, 5,682 armored combat vehicles, 1,805 artillery systems, 393 MLRS, 205 air defense assets, 278 aircraft and 260 helicopters since the Russian invasion began on February 24. In addition, Russia lost 1,499 UAVs, 399 cruise missiles, 16 ships, and 4,242 vehicles and tankers during the war.

On October 12, investigative outlet iStories, citing an FSB officer and a source from the Russian special services, reported that Russia's irrecoverable losses in the war with Ukraine could amount to more than 90,000 people. The Russian Defense Ministry has reported on the deaths of Russian servicemen three times since February 24. In the most recent announcement, dated September 21 – the day Russia announced its “partial” mobilization – Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu confirmed that 5,937 Russian servicemen had been killed since the start of the so-called “special operation.”

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