Ukraine update: Celebrations continue in Kherson, as elsewhere the war goes on

Picking up where we left off on Friday …

Historic scenes of jubilation in Kherson following the city’s liberation from Russian occupation. Amazing to think that just weeks ago, the Kremlin tried to convince the world that that these people wanted to join Russia

— Business Ukraine mag (@Biz_Ukraine_Mag) November 12, 2022

Waking up this morning with all of Kherson west of the Dnipro liberated by Ukraine. There are still more videos of celebrations, still more videos of towns being liberated, still more videos of Russian equipment wrecked alongside the road, still more videos of captured equipment, still more videos of Russian prisoners, and still more videos of elderly Ukrainian women greeting soldiers with belts of heavy machine gun ammo. Okay, that last one may be unique.

Sure, some people bring them flowers, but does that really top this?

Kherson grannies gave a great gift to the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Do Russians really believe they can defeat Ukrainians?

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) November 12, 2022

As expected, not everything is completely peaceful on Saturday morning. Just hours after the liberations of Kherson, artillery has begun firing across the river to the north. However, it may not be firing quite in the direction that many expected.

Artillery duels between both sides of the Dnipro river have started. Russian troops in Nova Kakhovka quite in a hurry. #Ukraine #NovaKakhovka

— (((Tendar))) (@Tendar) November 12, 2022

As of Friday, Russia has moved the “capital” of Russian-occupied Kherson from the city of Kherson to Henichesk. This is a town of less than 20,000 people before the war began. That makes it considerably smaller than such familiar small cities as Izyum or Kupyansk. Far smaller than any actual regional capital in Ukraine. There are certainly other larger cities within Kherson oblast. For example, both Kakhovka and Nova Kakovka are much larger. 

What’s so special about Henichesk? What’s special is that it is tucked all the over in the southeastern corner of the oblast — putting it outside of both artillery and HIMARS range.

The new capital of Kherson oblast. According to Russia.

Henichesk is as far away as Russia can run, and still pretend to be in control of Kherson oblast; from a town 14x smaller than the one they occupied at the beginning of the week. And, of course, there are good reasons to move Russian operations as far from any Ukrainian force as possible. Because it’s not just artillery targeting Russian positions across the river.

Explosions reported in Nova Kakhovka

— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) November 12, 2022

For Nova Kakhovka, this is nothing new. Ukrainian forces have been striking ammunition depots, supply depots, and aggregations of military vehicles in the area since HIMARS became a factor in the war, well before Ukraine began the western counteroffensive that reached its climax in Kherson this week. The idea that Russia could safely mass artillery on the east bank and pound the west once removed from Kherson was always questionable, because this is the likely fate of any sort of fixed artillery position anywhere in that region. And if Russia thought they had some kind of “deal” that meant they could sit across the river and not be bothered by Ukrainian forces … nope.

Where did the Ukrainian grandmother get her handy stock of 12.7mm NSV ammo? It’s likely that Russia was using her home or a nearby building for a small stockpile like this one.

Russian ammunition and looted civilian household appliances somewhere were found somewhere on the Kherson direction. Link-

— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) November 12, 2022

An inability to supply forces across the river after Ukraine targeted bridge surfaces was a primary reason behind Russia’s withdrawal from the area west of the Dnipro. However, that doesn’t mean there was no ammo left. A number of caches like this one have been found. Still they’re nothing like the cavernous warehouses of artillery shells left behind when Russia fled from Kharkiv.

And hey, hopefully those troops helped that grandmother get her appliances back in place.

Even with all those videos linked above, a few more won’t hurt.

Another personnel carrier.

— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) November 12, 2022

An ammunition depot abandoned by Russian troops in the village of Blahodatne, 20 km north of Kherson. Villagers said Russians had throughout the occupation broke into vacant homes and looted them, removing furniture, televisions, stoves and refrigerators.

— Paul Jawin (@PaulJawin) November 12, 2022

Looks to be a T-80

— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) November 12, 2022

You can’t say that Russia didn’t get away with something

🤦A Russian propagandist boasted that “her comrade” had stolen a raccoon from the Kherson Zoo when he fled the city The AFU are ready to exchange 10 captured mobiks for a raccoon, which was stolen from the Kherson Zoo by the heroically retreating second army of the world.

— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) November 12, 2022

With all of western Kherson liberated (except for that raccoon), expect more coverage of what’s happening on the fronts in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. The situation around cities like Bakhmut and towns such as Avdiivka, continues to be absolutely grim. Ukraine has not surrendered these locations, but the back and forth over ground that has been plowed to a bloody froth continues and the costs are extraordinary. Even as Kherson was being liberated, Russia was turning up the heat in this area in hopes of generating some kind of counter-story for the media.

They’ve even claimed to have completely captured Paviivka. That’s not true. However, Russia has gained a foothold in that town, and Ukrainian troops are being forced to defend what remains block by block. 

Nothing happening in the east is anywhere close to the scale of the victory in Kherson. But that doesn’t make the lives of the Ukrainian soldiers fighting there any less significant.

Besides all the joy in the south, the AFU in #Bakhmut faces hell. Russia has increased it’s attacks which the Ukrainian forces try to withstand. Here are some pictures shot in the Hospital. Every half hour soldiers are brought in. Wounded and also dead. This is the truth of war

— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) November 12, 2022

However, what’s happening around Bakhmut isn’t the only place where things are heating up following Russia’s retreat from Kherson. Far up to the north, there’s something else going on.

In #Svatove, locals that still live there are nervous. Explosions are heard very close to the city. “The night passed terribly, no one slept, everything thundered very close, in the morning the same thing, there is no idea what is happening, people’s nerves are at the limit”

— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) November 12, 2022

Fighting is reportedly going on both immediately west of the city, as well as to the NW near the town of Kuzemivka. As of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces were reportedly engaged with Russian troops at a whole series of locations west of the highway.

Immediate area around Svatove. Open in another tab for a closer look.

The “faded” explosions on this map represent the older known points of confrontation. The symbol near Kuzemivka represents the place of a battle that was taking place on Saturday morning. However, the reports from Svatove make it seem as if Ukrainian forces are closer to the city than this map may indicate. It’s possible that the “third ring” of defenses may have been broken at one of the points west of the city.

More information from this area could be coming soon.

The EST Team works very carefully and the latest news reaches you.

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