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Abandoned Russian bodies near Bakhmut and Kharkiv, troops pulled into Svatove, Vuhledar under fire. What's happening on the front line?

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Shelling of liberated Kherson continues

The shelling of the Kherson region on the right bank of the Dnipro river – and Kherson itself – continues. Russia struck civilian infrastructure in Kherson on the morning of November 21, according to a report issued by Kherson Regional Council First Deputy Chairman Yuri Sobolevsky on his Telegram channel.

“There are missile strikes in Kherson, again on civilian infrastructure. There are wounded civilians, medical care is being provided,” Sobolevsky wrote.

According to the head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko, as a result of the shelling of Kherson by the Russian military, four people were taken to the regional hospital with injuries. One person died during hospitalization.

Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) Commissioner for Human Rights, reported that Kherson region residents were subjected to more brutal torture methods than residents of those regions that were subjected to temporary occupation earlier: Kharkiv, Kyiv and Chernihiv. Lubinets named three differences from torture in other regions: that men and women were held together, that there were video cameras in each cell for surveillance, and that there was a separate cell for teenagers in the torture rooms.

Images of the looted Kherson Art Museum have also appeared online. The Insider had earlier reported that the Russian military leaving the right bank of the Dnipro had looted close to 15 thousand exhibits from the city’s cultural institutions – four trucks carrying the stolen exhibits have arrived in Simferopol. The museum’s permanent exhibition included icon paintings from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, Ukrainian art from the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, along with works by contemporary artists.

Vuhledar shelled with incendiary ammunition

Russian forces shelled Vuhledar with incendiary ammunition, according to a report by independent investigative outlet Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT). It is clear from the published video that incendiary ammunition was used specifically in the city limits, which is prohibited by international humanitarian law, CIT analysts say.

Experts have highlighted that the area is important for Russia as part of the railroads leading from Donetsk to the southwest are within striking range of Ukrainian barrel artillery. It is these railroads that are used to supply Russian troops in the southern directions.

“The particularity of Vuhledar is the village of Volnovakha, which is two dozen kilometers away, and from there comes the only railroad that connects Russia with Melitopol and the Zaporizhzhia group,” military expert Roman Svitan explained to The Insider. “Since Russian troops move by rail, they need that railroad going through Volnovakha – there’s only a few dozen kilometers from there to Vuhledar. One break through Volnovakha – and the entire Russian Zaporizhzhia group will be left without supplies.”

A picture of the bodies of Russian servicemen has also appeared online. There have been claims that the dead men in the image were marines of the 155th Brigade killed in the direction of Vuhledar, but there has been no independent confirmation of that information.

Russian losses in the Bakhmut direction

Fighting has intensified in the Bakhmut direction, writes military analyst Def Mon.

“Increased intensity of shelling in this area today, November 20, after a quieter period. Attempts by the Russians to storm Bakhmut head-on are, in my opinion, utter madness. A video was published yesterday showing about 25-30 dead Russians on the approaches to Bakhmut. Even if they manage to gain a foothold on the approaches to Bakhmut, imagine the supply situation: they are in the trenches without any mechanized support.”

The video the analyst is referring to can be found here.

Troops being drawn towards Svatove

The main attention of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) seems to be concentrated in the north and south around the settlements of Novoselivske and Ploshchanka, writes Def Mon. According to him, progress is currently slow – with the arrival of reinforcements on both sides, it is likely that the situation will not change for a long period of time.

The shelling of Belohorivka in the Luhansk region has also continued. According to analysts, this is how the Russian military is diverting AFU forces away from Kreminna. There is also a lot of evidence of high activity of Russian troops in the Verkhnokamyanka area near the Lysychansk oil refinery. Def Mon notes that Verkhnokamyanka provides the Russians with shelter and observation points with an open descent to the west.

Shelling of occupied Makiivka (Donetsk region)

The AFU continue to shell Russian positions in occupied Makiivka, which is in the so-called “DPR”. According to the “DPR People's Militia”, in the morning of November 21, a HIMARS launcher hit the railroad track in the Chervonohvardiiskyi district.

The so-called “DPR Emergencies Ministry” also published a video of a burning oil depot in the Chervonohvardiiskyi district. The “ministry” reported that the fire destroyed three stationary tanks with a volume of 60 cubic meters, with the oil spill affecting an area of 300 sq. m. Shrapnel damaged two tanks on the railroad bed with a total volume of 70 cubic meters, resulting in a fuel spill covering an area of 350 sq. m.

According to the “DPR Emergencies Ministry,” an “explosive object” also hit a gas pipeline on Pushkin Street in the city of Yasynuvata.

Russians waiting for dry weather to attack Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia directions

According to Def Mon, in the near future Russian forces will accumulate the potential to attack in the directions of Huliaipole, Vuhledar and Mariinka. Now the attacks in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia directions were not reported, the expert believes that the Russians are waiting for dry weather.

Shelling in the Belgorod region

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have continued shelling Russia’s Belgorod region, particularly the town of Shebekino, which is close to multiple military facilities. Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote about the recent shelling of Shebekino on his Telegram channel. According to Gladkov, shells hit an apartment building and an industrial enterprise. Power lines were damaged and a woman was wounded.

The AFU also shelled the town of Maslova Pristan in the Belgorod region with MLRS shells, reported Telegram channel Moscow Calling. The inscription on one shell read “For Chernihiv, die.” According to Moscow Calling, the projectile in question was an AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missile, recognizable by its stabilizer mounts.

AFU continue to find bodies of fellow servicemen abandoned by Russians

The abandoned bodies of Russian servicemen have been found near Izium in the village of Dovhenke (Kharkiv region). According to Radio Donbass.Realii correspondent Sergei Gorbatenko, volunteers from the military history heritage research association “Platsdarm” are working at the battle site. At least 20 bodies have already been found. Images of the bodies can be seen below.


The head of the search team Alexei Yukov commented that Russia has barred volunteers from returning the bodies of fallen Ukrainian soldiers from the temporarily occupied territories, which means the remains of the Russians will be exchanged for the bodies of AFU soldiers after expert examinations.

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