Fighting underway as Ukrainian troops enter Kherson. Russia loses its biggest prize

Ukrainian forces have been collecting Russian equipment and Russian stragglers along the roads as they moved rapidly toward Kherson and Beryslav. They’ve also engaged with small Russian forces, eliminating them in passing. 

However, reports from Russian sources put the remaining Russian force on the west bank of the river at an astounding 20,000. If other reports are accurate, those forces are now mostly concentrated in the area of Beryslav, and near the harbor in the city of Kherson. Fighting is going on in both places. And that fighting is not trivial.

So far, Thursday has been like a celebration in Kherson. Ukrainian forces have advanced capturing an untold bounty of abandoned equipment and being greeted in village, town, and city. Now it is just after midnight there on Friday morning. When the next sunrise comes up, Ukraine could hold all of Kherson, and perhaps all of the oblast west of the river.

If the number of Russians still on the west side is accurate, Ukraine may also be about to take a terrific victory, or be on the receiving end of one of the largest surrenders in history. Some Russian forces are reportedly attempting to flee the city under cover of darkness in small boats, or on anything that will float, hoping to be carried to safety downriver. However, Russian troops deliberately smashed many small boats along the waterfront days ago, probably to prevent anyone from getting this idea too early.

What’s happening in Kherson is going to be a story for the ages, no matter what comes next.

Multiple reports of Russian forces moving through Nova Kakhovka to somewhere east. Possibly the Melitopol area.


Reports that a lot of that Ukrainian artillery firing in Kherson is doing so to make it clear that attempting to cross the river is a very bad idea.


Ukraine has announced 41 liberated settlements in the Kherson area. The map above is mostly aligned with those announcements, though there are a few spots (mostly small villages) that I haven’t yet updated. 

Holy crap, what an amazing night! Where do we even begin this week’s episode of The Downballot? Well, we know exactly where: abortion. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap Tuesday’s extraordinary results, starting with a clear-eyed examination of the issue that animated Democrats as never before—and that pundits got so badly wrong. They also discuss candidate quality (still really important!), Democratic meddling in GOP primaries (good for democracy, actually), and “soft” Biden disapprovers (lots of them voted for Democrats).

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