Russian Commander Surovikin proposes arranging defense along left bank of Dnieper, Shoigu agrees
MOSCOW. Nov 9 (Interfax) - The Russian forces in the Kherson area will redeploy to the left bank of the Dnieper River, Gen. of the Army Sergei Surovikin, commander of the joint Russian forces in the special military operation zone, said in a report to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday.
"Having assessed the situation comprehensively, the proposal is that defense be taken up along the left bank of the Dnieper River. I understand that this is quite a difficult decision," Surovikin said, as shown by the Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television channel.
If Kiev further increases the volume of water released from water reservoirs or launches a heavier missile attack on the Kakhovka Dam, this might flood large areas and cause numerous civilian casualties, he said.
"This would pose an additional threat to the civilian population and expose our group of forces on the right bank of the Dnieper to complete isolation. In these conditions, the arrangement of defense along the Dnieper River's boundary seems the most reasonable option," Surovikin said.
"What counts most, we will spare the lives of our troops and combat capability of our forces on the whole, while it makes no sense to keep these forces in constrained conditions on the right bank. In addition, this would free up part of the forces and resources, which could be engaged in active moves, including offensive ones, in other areas within the operation zone," he said.
The maneuver will take place as soon as possible, he said. "The maneuver of troops will be carried out as soon as possible. Formations and units will take defensive lines prepared in engineering terms and take positions on the left bank of the Dnieper River," Surovikin said.
Shoigu agreed with Surovikin's proposal.
"I agree with your conclusions and proposals. The lives and health of Russian service members is always a priority for us. We should also take into account danger to the civilian population. Make sure that all civilians wishing to leave could do that," Shoigu said.
"Begin withdrawing the troops and take every measure to ensure the safe redeployment of the personnel, weapons, and hardware across the Dnieper River," he said.