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So Who Is to Blame For the Kherson Retreat Really?
Right now, patriotic Russian civil society is having a full-on meltdown. Channels are being deleted, people demanding the overthrow of the government, etc etc. Some of them may even get swooped on by the FSB for their momentary emotional lapse. Can’t be making mistakes like that when the stakes are so high, folks. Oh well, better they remove themselves from the political arena rather than continue to plague us with their bad analyses and counter-productive whining.
Now, I’ve advanced the thesis that the military wanted to retreat and that the politicians didn’t and that the military ended up winning out, which was a good thing in the long run. Sources I actually respect however are saying the exact opposite. They’re saying that this was a political move and that the military wanted to stay and fight. I’ve explained the logic behind my reasoning and provided sources as best I could. Let’s see what these guys have to say though.
Starting with Katyusha:
Despite the fact that rumors about the imminent abandonment of the left bank of the Dnieper by the Russian troops and the retreat from Kherson have been circulating for many days, it is still difficult to believe in this. Our troops retreat from there, without giving battle to the Kyiv militants. They leave with a complete misunderstanding by society of the reasons for such a decision, the strange death of one of the leaders of the Russian movement of the city, statements by the [Russian] Foreign Ministry about their readiness for negotiations with Zelensky and rumors about an inter-elite agreement with the United States. If this is not a plan to lure enemy troops in order to beat them in advantageous positions (which I really want to believe in spite of everything) and we just left, then this is the most serious defeat of our army since 1991. Which will hit hard on the morale of both the fighters at the front and the entire people as a whole. And the responsibility for which lies not only and not really even so much on the military,
Only on Saturday, a fighter who returned from Kherson assured the author of "Katyusha" that all the news about the surrender of Kherson was fake, the city was actively preparing for defense, reinforcements for the fighters were coming and Ukrainian militants would receive their "Stalingrad" no worse than the Nazis in 1943. In the media, on the eve [of the retreat], no one even uttered a hint about surrender - the paratroopers heroically held the defense in Snigirevka, stopping the attacks of larger enemy forces. I could not believe in the retreat from the city even when all Russian flags were removed from there, the bridges were blown up, all officials were taken out, and a large number of the population were evacuated. It stubbornly sat in my head - we will not leave our cities to be desecrated by evil spirits, leave it to the forces of Hell, as the president himself said.
Moreover, from all points of view, the surrender of the city was not profitable. From the military, yes - the army received logistics, but at the same time, the possibility of the VFU strikes at the isthmus and the north of Crimea, which complicates this logistics. Russia frees up troops, but the Kyiv militants also got the opportunity to transfer troops and try to repeat the success in Krasny Liman. And most importantly: storming the high right bank of the Dnieper will be, to put it mildly, difficult, and you can forget about the liberation of the south of Novorossia - Kherson itself, Nikolaev, Odessa in the short term.
Besides such a decision gave the [Kyiv] militants additional motivation - they are advancing, "victory is near", Zelensky is already appointing leadership to the left-bank, that is, to our districts in the Kherson region.
From the point of view of domestic policy, this is more than a serious blow to the trust in the authorities and personally to Putin, because even the last soldier understands that the decision was not made by the military at all, and last night's performance with Surovikin's report to Shoigu is just a decoration.
I don’t understand this at all. We saw Surovikin mention difficult decisions a month ago. Russia is waiting for mobilized troops to arrive to the front and until they do they’re at a serious disadvantage. The Russian army was threatened with being pinned against the river.
The writer of this piece, Tsiganov most likely, a man that I respect immensely for his work fighting back against COVID tyranny in Russia and for his legal warfare against Russia’s Liberal 5th columnists, doesn’t give any proof for these claims.
A blow, the consequences of which are not yet visible, but the authorities will definitely not find it a little. After all, it turns out that the Russian authorities, against the backdrop of undercover agreements with the United States and Turkey, surrendered the city, which they recently accepted into the country. We haven't had this since 1991. Kherson was the first and only regional center of Ukraine, which came under the control of the Russian army during the "SMO" and, from the point of view of the legislation of the Russian Federation, became the capital of one of the new subjects of the Federation.
People on Telegram were calling for the fortification of the city proper and a reverse Mariuple situation, which is insane. First of all, Russia doesn’t have the Death Korps of Krieg on their side to leave behind to fight to the last man - it’s the Ukrainians who do/did. Then, once the decision to defend the city was made, it would have to be defended and eventually relieved, putting Russia on a clock to make a breakthrough.
Overall, just stupid, stupid, stupid.
The regular mouthpieces of the presidential administration immediately received a new training manual - from [which they howled out talking points like]: "Do you want our children to die for something?" and "we have a lot of these Russian cities." The result of this attack was the loss of faith in at least some official promises in Donetsk, where, like it or not, they began to ask questions about what their own fate will be.
Finally, from the point of view of geopolitics, the Kherson retreat is a failure. As after the Kharkov tragedy, Europe immediately announced the allocation of military assistance to Ukraine. And no one spoke out against it anymore - why protest if "Ukraine is winning." The news was received with joy in Washington - after all, this is their "victory", NATO is also delighted. On the other hand, leaving a large city is unlikely to add credibility in the eyes of eastern partners. Weakness has never attracted anyone.
Hopes that the abandonment of the city will lead to a truce smack of outright kindergarten stuff. What use it this to 4th Reich, if everything is going well for them anyway? Kyiv has already stated that the terms of Russia's surrender remain unchanged and that the withdrawal from Kherson is not a reason for a truce.
It seemed that absolutely everything was against the abandonment of Kherson. However, the decision has been made. Moreover, it was carried out in such a way as to gloss over and make extreme the recent hope of the Russian army, the commander of the Joint Group of Russian Forces Sergei Surovikin: “ A comprehensive assessment of the current situation, it is proposed to take up defense along the left bank of the Dnieper River. I understand that this is a very difficult decision. At the same time, we we will save, most importantly, the lives of our servicemen and, in general, the combat capability of the group of troops, which is futile to keep on the right bank in a limited area ," Surovikin said.
The decision was clearly made a month ago.
Shoigu supported the general. Surovikin was also supported by Kadyrov and Prigogine. And then came information about the capture of the Kherson villages by the UAF.
Regarding the real authors of the decision to withdraw troops from the Presidential Administration, their PR people distanced themselves from this decision as much as possible. On the day of the announcement of the decision to withdraw Russian troops to the left bank of the Dnieper near Kherson, Vladimir Putin's official work schedule was emphatically routine, routine and planned. He visited the Federal Center for Brain and Neurotechnologies, met with the head of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency Veronika Skvortsova and spoke by phone with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Along the way, two more events happened that seriously added fuel to the fire. One of the best Russian activists, the father of five children, Kirill Stremousov, died. As follows from official statements and a video from the scene, he died in an accident on the way to the new "capital" of the region - Genichesk. We will not reproduce conspiracy theories here, but Kirill died too "on time", literally on the day of "difficult decisions" [being made]. Whether fate played a cruel joke on him, preventing him from seeing Ukrainian flags in his city, or whether the British owners of the ukroregime, the DRG or traitors from among the Russians side helped it happen, we don’t know, and therefore we’ll just note - despite the award by the president and any conclusion of the commission, different ersions about the non-randomness [read: true nature] of his death will live on for a long time.
This is quite an allegation to even hint at. It was only fringe nationalists who were alleging that the FSB was knocking off militia commanders in the Donbass who didn’t agree with Minsk I and II and who resisted connected mafia dons from Moscow coming in to squabble over Donbass’ resources back in the day.
Now though, it’s kind of a big deal for a patriotic, normie-facing website involved with the government to be even hinting at the fact that the FSB may have had something to do with the death of a pro-Russian in Ukraine.
Me, I don’t know why they would want him dead. Someone needs to explain why he was worth killing.
Moreover, almost simultaneously with the news of the death of Kirill, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, announced her readiness to negotiate with Ukraine, taking into account the current realities. " We are still open to negotiations. We have never refused them, we are ready to conduct them, of course, taking into account the realities that are developing at the moment , " she said at a briefing. The day before, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said that Moscow does not set any preconditions for peace talks with Kyiv. According to him, to start a dialogue " only the good will of Ukraine is enough"Given that the Western leading media have been dispersing the topic of "negotiations after the surrender of Kherson" since the weekend, the words were, to put it mildly, highly compromising Surovikin, who is portrayed as a clown forced to read unpopular decisions and take on all the negativity from the "agreement" .
These are the traitors that the patriot bloc in Russia are constantly pointing the finger at. There is a powerful lobby, over-represented heavily in the MFA, that wants to make concessions and make peace with the West through appeasement.
True, there will be no peace, as Ukraine has already stated, and peace could not be for the reasons described above. And if among our “elite” someone believed that the West would simply stop Ukraine like that, then he can be congratulated - the West simply deceived them 101 times and the hostilities not only will not stop, but will flare up with renewed vigor.
However, there is still hope that this whole story is a plan to lure the enemy into an uncomfortable position. It was about just this that they began to unanimously declare from Kyiv saying that there is no retreat in reality, and Surovikin decided to set a trap for them. I would very much like to believe that this is really so, and this whole rainy day was nothing more than a preface to a great Victory. Otherwise, there is a bad feeling that the enemy is trying, as best he can, to play along with our "strategists", which only confirms the version of the deal. Whether this is so will become clear today or tomorrow.
So far, it seems that there was no 5D chess plan, yet again.
I don’t agree with Tsiganov’s thesis and he didn’t really present new evidence to prove his point one way or the other. That being said, he is more well-connected than I am and perhaps he has access to sources that are telling him stuff that I don’t know.
All I can rely on is my ability to see things coherently and without cogdis, not on rumors being leaked from people who may or may not be full of it, frankly.
Time will tell whose version of events was closer to the mark.