Russians not abandoning Kherson – TTG

This is part of an interview conducted today with Kirilo Budanov, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, by Roman Kravets of “Ukrainska Pravda.”

– Recently Surovikin said that “difficult decisions may be made” in Kherson. What did he mean?

– They understand that Russia is going to lose both globally and locally. If he can say that “it’s not my business” about a global loss, but for a local one, Surovikin will be responsible. He prepares the groundwork so that, if a decision is made to surrender the city, or they will simply be kicked out, the groundwork will be prepared and somehow it will all go smoothly. But at the same time, I cannot tell you that right now they are fleeing from Kherson. No, there is no such thing.

– We have also seen statements by the occupation authorities that they are going to “evacuate” the population to the left bank of the Dniepro. What is happening in Kherson now?

– In many aspects, this is an information operation and manipulation. There are certain facts. For example, “Promsvyazbank” and other financial structures that the Russians brought there are being withdrawn. Moreover, as they are being taken out, they are taking out cash, servers, the so-called occupation authorities are being transferred, all the non-walking, seriously injured are being taken out. They are trying to discharge those who can walk as soon as possible from hospitals, and they are conducting this crazy information campaign that “we care about people ” and so on. That is, they create the illusion that everything is gone. And at the same time, on the contrary, they bring new military units there and prepare the streets of the city for defense.

That is, they understand that if we take control over the Kakhovka dam, which is the only transport artery that is functioning now, they will have to make a decision very quickly. Either very quickly leave the city and get out, or they risk ending up in the same situation that our units in Mariupol found themselves in earlier. The situation is a little different, but conceptually it will be very similar. And understanding all this, they are preparing the groundwork so that, if necessary, they can get out of there very quickly. However, they are not preparing to exit now, they are preparing to defend.

– You mentioned the Kakhovka dam. There are constant reports that it is now mined. What is the threat that the Russians will launch a terrorist attack?

– It is partially mined, that’s true. Well, it is very difficult to evaluate the stupidity of Russians with some logic. I will say this. Blowing up this dam will definitely cause an environmental disaster, that’s a fact. There are just other aspects. First: why do it – what will they lose and what will they gain? And the second: you can partially blow up the dam, or you can blow it up completely. So, in order to undermine it completely, such works have not been carried out. Mining is carried out partially for partial destruction, if necessary. To destroy a structure of this level, tens of tons of explosives, correctly placed, are needed. You can’t put a Kamaz somewhere nearby, it won’t help.

– If we start entering Kherson, they can use the chance to blow up the dam?

– Let’s go from the opposite. If it is destroyed completely: they will launch all the missiles that are available, plant a bunch of explosives, somehow try to do it – what will they get? They will receive continuous flooding of the left bank of the Kherson region. They will lose the possibility of supplying water through the North Crimean Canal to the Crimea until we rebuild the dam. That will take a very long time. It will be impossible to do. And the most interesting thing is that they will totally disable the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, because the dam is inextricably linked with it. Well, of course, they will make it difficult for us to advance for a certain period of time. And this, by the way, is not a very long period of time, it will be somewhere around two weeks. But they will be forced to retreat directly to the Crimea. In other words, if you make a complete destruction, that’s the scenario. Are they ready for it? I think not.

Comment: So the notion that Russian forces were going to soon abandon Kherson is not shared by the Ukrainian DIA. Wishful thinking, I guess. I wouldn’t want them to get away anyways. But they’re definitely shrinking their perimeter. The Ukrainian General staff announced Russian units are abandoning positions east of the Inulets River and that 90 settlements were liberated in Kherson Oblast today. Don’t know if that includes any territory in the Mylove-Beryslav region on the river. At any rate, Ukrainian artillery will be getting closer to the Nova Kakhovka Dam. 

I’ve also seen reports that Russia is no longer supplying artillery ammunition to units on the right bank of the Dniepro. While the defense of Kherson can be supported from the left bank, those Russian forces now on the perimeter are pretty well screwed. I guess you can’t be ferrying ammunition when you’re busy stealing everything not nailed down and some things like statues. There won’t be much left to destroy if this does devolve into an urban battle.


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21 Responses to Russians not abandoning Kherson – TTG

  1. Worth Pointing Out says:

    Russia is playing rope-a-dope with the Ukrainians.

    • TTG says:


      Russians are on the ropes all right, but they’re not blocking any punches.

      • Bill Roche says:

        According to Douglas MacGregor (Col. USA Ret.) recently writing in the “American Conservative”, WPO maybe on to something. MacGregor is sure “Gen’l Winter” will crush the Ukrainians who are fighting on borrowed time. We will run out of ammo to send, Ukraine will run out of men, and Western Europe can’t be trusted. Meanwhile Putin has a huge hammer and will send it crushing down when all the planets are properly aligned. Cols Lang and MacGregor see this war completely differently.

        • TTG says:

          Bill Roche,

          I don’t see how “Gen’l Winter” will crush the Ukrainians. They’re not the ones missing the winter uniforms. Western ammo stocks are a question, but so are Russian stocks. And I fail to see Putin’s huge hammer. His massive gaggle of mobiks are pitifully equipped, trained and motivated. They screwed the pooch when they dismantled the old Soviet mobilization machine.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Col. MacGregor is a bewilderment. You know I am not ex. prof. mil. but I believe the UKM will take Kherson w/i the next couple of weeks and then move down the east side of the Denieper and close out action other than Crimea. The Crimean campaign will follow. Crimea will be hotly contested throughout the winter. This is where (I think?) MacGregor intends for Putin to land his blow.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Is Surovikin trying to lure the Ukrainians into some sort of fire trap as they approach Kherson City? If not, then he is already defeated.

          • TTG says:


            It’s possible Suvovikin intends to bleed the Ukrainians badly in Kherson, but I doubt it will come to that. Ukrainian local fire superiority seems to be increasing and I doubt Russian artillery will last long on the wide open left bank of the Dniepro. i also noticed the Ukrainians may have taken your advice about going after the Wager Group. Ukraine added some reinforcements and have pushed the Wagnerites out of areas of Bakhmut within 48 hours that they fought for months to take.

        • blue peacock says:


          Is there a possibility that Kherson would once again be used as feint by the Ukranian army and instead they attack elsewhere as they did with the Kharkiv assault so successfully?

          Kherson has been top of the news for many months. However, it seems that the strategy there is different and changes on the ground more measured.

          • cobo says:

            In a similar vein, I wonder about the big press coverage of the 101st in Rumania. What else might be going on -?

          • TTG says:


            It’s just press coverage. A brigade of the 101st is there replacing a brigade from the 82nd. We also have an armored brigade and an aviation brigade in Europe. Along with many other units, we have around 100,000 troops in Europe.

          • TTG says:

            blue peacock,

            Sure it’s possible. The most surprising thing the Ukrainians did in the last few days was add a little extra to the forces at Bakhmut. They drove the Wagernites out of the suburbs in 48 hours. It took the Russians several months to take them in the first place.

            The advance in Kherson has always been measured. First, the Ukrainian telegraphing of the coming offensive drew the Russians into deploying a lot of their good troops there. Second, the terrain is generally flat and wide open, criss-crossed by drainage canals that act like tank ditches.

    • blue peacock says:

      It appears that it is actually the other way around. The Ukrainian army first lured a good number of the Russian army to Kherson and then blew up many of the supply options across the Dnieper. And then punched through in Kharkiv routing the Russian army in the north.

      On current form it seems they are the one’s playing rope-a-dope.

  2. mcohen says:

    No this is the beginning of the cessation of the conflict.

    • Bill Roche says:

      No, the Russian mantra is “and more must die before we sleep, and more must die before we sleep.” No fan of Russian aggression here, but they always seem willing to throw masses into battle and win by pure determination. Are Russians still so minded? I continue to believe that the opinion of young Russians, from 20 to 45, holds the key. Do they still believe they are the rightful heirs of a Russian Empire?

  3. Pat Lang says:

    “The Ukrainian General staff announced Russian units are abandoning positions west of the Inulets River and that 90 settlements were liberated in Kherson Oblast today.” If that is true, the Ukrainians will close on Kherson shortly. And if the Russians are not re-supplying artillery on the right bank, they will not leave significant DLIC behind, just enough to make a mess.

    As for the weather it may be a cold, wet Winter. I would prefer a cold, dry Winter. With the former you can look forward to trench foot with your feet rotting.

  4. Leith says:

    Russians are reported to be evacuating the statues of Admiral Ushakov and General Suvorov from Kherson. Plus they are taking both the statue and the remains of Prince Potemkin.

    I suspect that Ukraine is happy to see those memorials go. Although most of the battles that those three fought in the Russo-Turkish wars were won with the blood Ukrainian sailors and soldiers.

    But unfortunately the occupiers are also looting Kherson churches, museums, and libraries.

  5. Barbara Ann says:


    Have you seen any evidence to back up the Ukrainian General Staff’s assertion that Russia has abandoned 90 settlements west of the Inulets river? Kherson city itself is west of the Inulets. None of the Russian sources I read have suggested such a thing. Even perma-optimist Chuck Pfarrer has not mentioned this possibility, to my knowledge.

    I had wondered whether the main Ukrainian strike might come in Zaporizhzhia – south towards Melitopol, for instance. The whole Kherson group both sides of the river would be royally screwed if they can be cut off there.

    • TTG says:

      Other than the General Staff’s assertion, I’ve seen nothing. They’ve been extremely tight lipped about their advances. Also don’t know what comprises a settlement. And the 90 settlements included all of Kherson Oblast. I also made a mistake. It was east of the Inulets in the GS claim of abandoned positions, not west. I’ll correct it.

  6. MJ says:

    I didn’t realize how poor a country Russia is until the images of the looted washing machines having priority in the retreating force’s baggage appeared since the Keiv retreat. “Forget the ammo. Take the washing machines.”

    • JamesT says:


      GDP per capita in Ukraine (2010,2021): $3,078, $4,836
      GDP per capita in Russia (2010, 2021): $10,675, $12,173

      Ukraine has seen a big rise since the Maidan Revolution – how much of that is western countries pouring money in to support their proxy I don’t know. TTG might say that it is because corruption has gone down, but I think corruption going down in Ukraine is going to happen about as soon as corruption goes down in Mexico. Ukrainians are not Lithuanians no matter what people in the west might want to believe.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Ammo or microwave? I guess 70 years of socialism will do that. But its all about equality. See, that’s why Liberte, Equality, and Fraternite never did work out. The are incompatible ideas.

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