Day 261 of the Invasion of Ukraine: The Antonovsky Bridge near Kherson has been Destroyed
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Six killed in a Russian missile attack on a residential building in Ukraine
Six people were killed when a Russian missile struck a residential building in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolaev, local authorities said. The search for survivors under the debris continues, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich wrote in Telegram.
President Volodymyr Zelensky also reacted to the attack, calling it a terrorist state's cynical response to the successes of Ukrainian forces at the front.
"Russia is not giving up its nefarious tactics. And we are not giving up our fight. The occupiers will be responsible for any crime against Ukraine and Ukrainians," Zelensky said.
Earlier, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, Valentin Reznichenko, reported that during the night, the Russians fired more than 50 shells and heavy artillery in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Three settlements were shelled - Nikopol, Marganetskaya and Mirovskaya.
Ukraine regained 41 settlements after the Russian decision to withdraw from Kherson
Ukrainian troops were previously reported to have retaken dozens of mine-strewn villages in southern Ukraine abandoned by Russian forces. On Wednesday, Moscow announced its withdrawal from the strategic southern city of Kherson. So far, however, there is no immediate evidence of a mass Russian withdrawal from the city. According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, the movement of Russian forces will last at least a week.
Meanwhile, residents of Kherson reported that the Antonovsky Bridge, the only road crossing from the southern Ukrainian city to the Russian-controlled east bank of the Dnieper River, had collapsed. Ukrainian TV published a photo showing the absence of entire sections of the bridge. The next place where the Dnieper can be crossed is more than 70 km from the city of Kherson. It is not yet clear what caused the bridge to collapse.
Kyiv has yet to confirm whether Russian forces are indeed withdrawing from Kherson, but Ukrainian troops have advanced 7km in the past 24 hours, Ukraine's army chief Valery Zaluzhny said. According to Ukrainian officials, Russia's maneuver may be a trap. The Kremlin, for its part, said the withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson would not change the status of the region, which Moscow declared part of Russia after deciding to annex it from Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces have liberated 41 settlements in southern Ukraine
Ukrainian forces have liberated 41 villages and are advancing south.
This was announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky in his regular evening video address. According to him, the main task in the vacated places is to secure them so that people can return there.
Zelensky expects Russian forces to leave anti-personnel mines in the area around Kherson as they withdraw from the southern Ukrainian city. Russia issued an order to that effect on Wednesday.
Moscow defended the decision as a necessary move, while admitting it was a heavy blow.
ISW: VSU is on its way to a big victory in the Kherson region, and it won't be the last
The initiative on the front is in the hands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (VSU). Ukrainian fighters are in the process of winning a major victory in the Kherson region. This is according to a new report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Analysts are adamant that this will not be the last victory of the VSU fighters over the Russian occupiers.
"Ukraine has the initiative and is in the process of achieving a major victory in Kherson. A ceasefire will give the Kremlin the pause it desperately needs to rebuild Russian forces. The major Ukrainian victory that continues in Kherson Oblast will not be the last," say the experts.
ISW noted that over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian armed forces have advanced in the north-west, west and north-east of Kherson region, advancing up to 7 km in some areas. At the same time, so far the Russian occupiers are withdrawing in an organized manner, and the Ukrainian military is achieving success without defeating the Russian forces, as during the counteroffensive in Kharkiv.
According to analysts, the withdrawal of Russian troops will allow the liberation of Kherson Oblast next to the Dnieper River in the coming days or weeks.
"The withdrawal of Russian troops will take some time, and fighting will continue throughout the Kherson region as Ukrainian troops advance and encounter pre-prepared Russian defensive lines, especially around the city of Kherson," summarized the Institute for War Studies.
However, the ISW report does not account for the events at the front that night. A number of Russian military correspondents published alarming posts on Telegram, according to which the massive artillery shelling of the Ukrainian Armed Forces prevented Russian troops from escaping to the left bank of the Dnieper.
According to some reports, many of the Russian occupation units were destroyed while trying to cross the river, and panic reigned in the city. There are also publications claiming that there is a real danger that the Ukrainian army will capture 5,000 to 20,000 Russians who have not yet been evacuated.
Official Kremlin propagandists deny there is panic in Kherson and claim the evacuation is going according to plan. At the same time, their Ukrainian colleagues published pictures of drowning pigs, pictures from the movie Titanic, as well as images of huge crabs with the claim that in the Dnieper this kind of animals would become just like that because of the abundance of food.
The Antonovsky bridge near the city of Kherson was destroyed
The Antonovsky Bridge, one of the three crossings of the Dnieper River in its lower reaches, was blown up, Russian military correspondents reported. In a video posted on Telegram, two elderly locals were surprised to find they couldn't get home after being on the other side of the river.
Two sections of the bridge, believed to be the main such facility in the Kherson region, have fallen, and according to the report, this is likely the work of the Russian army, which has thus completed its withdrawal from the area.
Video by Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda military correspondent, taken from the left bank of the Dnieper:
Russian reporter at the ruins of the Antonovsky bridge. Encounters locals civilians who want to get to the other side. pic.twitter.com/Gpn0YVkwBl— Dmitri (@wartranslated) November 11, 2022
There are also reports of damage to the railway connection at a second place connecting the western and eastern banks of the river - along the dam wall of the Kakhov reservoir.
The Antonovsky bridge was the target of artillery fire by the Ukrainian army for weeks. It did not destroy it, but only rendered it unusable due to shell holes, which Russian engineering units at one point were not able to fill quickly enough.
The army was therefore forced to build pontoon facilities to supply the group in this occupied part of Ukraine.
The Antonovsky Bridge has been destroyed as well. pic.twitter.com/dxLc7TnspO— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) November 11, 2022
The local occupation authorities seem to know nothing about the bridge or how many people are left in the city of Kherson. According to the head of the so-called government of the Kherson region Sergey Eliseev "The Antonovsky bridge was not blown up. It is in its previous state". According to him, 60-70 thousand people remained in the city.
80-100 thousand civilians remain in Kherson, their evacuation continues at the moment, the so-called mayor of the city (head of the city's military-civilian administration) Alexander Kobets told "Russia 24" TV.
At the same time, there are video recordings showing how the last Russian units cross the pontoon bridge right next to the reinforced concrete facility, and how then several pontoons are missing from the last link between the two banks.
The Ministry of Defense announced that the transfer of Russian troops along the eastern bank of the Dnieper to the "Khersonian direction" was completed at 5 a.m. local time. Not a single unit of military equipment and armament remained on the right bank, no personnel losses were reported, says Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman of the ministry.
General SVR: The offer is - Russia leaves all of Ukraine, Kyiv does not join NATO for another 7 years
The mysterious senior Russian military man who is behind the popular Telegram channel General SVR and maintains a regular audio column on YouTube with a mechanically morphed voice has announced what "peace proposals" the West has made to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the information, the offer was received through an intermediary country yesterday and, in general, it is with rather difficult conditions for the Kremlin.
The "peace proposal" has the following outlines:„“Russia withdraws its troops from the occupied territories of Ukraine and allows the Ukrainian armed forces to reach the state borders. Crimea has been taken out of the equation for seven years. Russia receives guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO for seven years,” writes General SVR.
According to him, another condition for Moscow is for the Crimean peninsula to be completely demilitarized and to have only small arms there. The Kremlin must immediately withdraw the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the territory of the peninsula.
"In addition to this, a demilitarized zone is being created on the land border of Russia with Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus with Ukraine. The deployment of Russian heavy weapons is prohibited 100 kilometers inland," General SVR reports.
According to his information, guarantors for the establishment of peace between Russia and Ukraine will be 6 countries that are ready to define and control the guarantees of mutual non-aggression.
The proposed "deal" also includes Transnistria. The region, in which there is also a compact Bulgarian minority, comes under the control of Moldova.
According to General SVR, "Putin was strongly advised not to reject the proposal, but to 'grab' the chance that is presented to him without changing the concept of the main points of the proposal".
Kherson remains part of Russia despite the withdrawal, insisted the Kremlin
The withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson on the left bank of the Dnieper does nothing to change the status of the annexed region.
Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists, quoted by "Interfax".
"This is a subject of the Russian Federation, this status is determined by law. There are no and cannot be any changes," Peskov said two days after Moscow announced the withdrawal of its military from the city, the administrative center of the Kherson region.
Peskov refrained from commenting on the fact that Russia (which has long insisted that it will remain "forever" in Kherson) has made the decision to withdraw its troops from there.
He described it as "a decision of the Minister of Defense" (who on Wednesday expressed agreement with the proposal of the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin, that they leave the right bank). "I have nothing to say on this topic," explained Peskov.
Russia annexed this one and three other regions of Ukraine - without full control of their territories - in late September. According to the Kremlin, there is nothing humiliating about Wednesday's decision.
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