November 03, 2022

Retreat or a Trap? Russia Signals a Surprise Withdrawal from a Key City, but Ukrainians Are Wary

Featuring Michael Kofman

Source: NBC

Journalists Courtney Kube, Artem Grudinin, Henry Austin

Yurii Sobolevskyi, the deputy head of Ukraine’s Kherson regional council, remained cautious about the Russian forces’ intentions. “Within Kherson city limits, the number of Russian checkpoints has been reduced, and the Russians have taken down their flags from some of the administrative buildings they have occupied,” he told NBC News by telephone Thursday.

“We have information that there is still a lot of both Russian military personnel and equipment there,” said Sobolevskyi, who is not based in the city but speaks regularly to people still living there. “These actions could be a provocation to lure Armed Forces of Ukraine into a trap.”Michael Kofman, the research program director in the Russia studies program at CNA, a Washington-area think tank, said in Twitter posts that the situation in Kherson was “clear as mud.”

“Russian forces seemed to withdraw from some parts, evacuated, and drew down, but also reinforced with mobilized personnel,” he said in one of several posts on the subject, adding that the fighting there was “difficult.” Despite “constrained supply,” he said, Russia forces did not appear to be out of ammunition.

Read the full story and more from NBC.

Authors

  • Michael Kofman

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Internation...