The official reasons are:
- Not enough defending troops
- Danger of encirclement
- Troops are needed more on other fronts
- Logistics is too hard because of the strikes on bridges
- Preserving lives of soldiers
- Too hard to defend those positions
First of all, these are the admission of a Russian ground forces inaptitude. Planning, training, equipment, armament — all being deficient. Deficient against extremely corrupted government and a failed state, held up by terrorizing all its citizens into conforming to the Nazi-like pseudo-ideology and propped up by some western military and economic aid.
This means the only bridgehead to the west of Dnepr is being abandoned. And along with it, the ~10,000 Russian peacekeeping force in Transnistria, as well as the pro-Russian Transnistria itself. They are cut-off by Ukraine and Moldova from Russia, without any lines of communications, be it ground, sea or air.
It also means the ethnically Russian cities of Odessa and Nikolaev, and the Russian-speaking majority of their population is practically abandoned for near future to the mercy of explicitly Russophobic and implicitly Neo-Nazi politics of Western-managed Ukrainian government.
The idiotic rationalization that suggests the military personnel which defended the abandoned position will now be used more efficiently elsewhere. The problem is, the Ukrainian personnel will be now free to do the same. And since the defence of Kherson was what resulted in most enemy combat losses recently, especially in comparison to the months-long, snail-pace advance on fortified Artemovsk, it means Ukraine could now switch to a more sustained defence operations in Donbass. While the Russian troops will be now engaged in fruitless and pointless offensive operations against heavily entrenched and reinforced enemy head-on. The result will be higher Russian and lower Ukrainian casualties.
The other aspect is that each retreat moves the Ukrainian long-range artillery and rockets into range of previously unreachable areas. After practically every town and village in the north Kherson was made unlivable, now will be the turn of previously spared ones to the south to share the same fate. So not only it isn’t protecting Russian soldiers, but it also endangers more of the newly annexed Russian civilians.
The political implications, though are of least importance in my opinion, will still have their influence. The Russian image of a military superpower is now so low, that I cannot think of another moment in Russian history to compare it. Not in a post-soviet period, not in the Soviet period, and not in the Russian Empire period can I find a point similar to this one. And with the crashing of the image of Russian military might the nuclear threshold will also be brought down. Russia has weak diplomats, weak leader, and weak army — that is the picture being shown right now to the entire world. It is weakest than ever in East Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus — the traditional back yard of Russian Empire and Soviet Union. The immediate period after the collapse of the USSR might come close, but the fear of Soviet nuclear capabilities was still fresh then, and the enemy was the entire NATO. Now Russian military seems like a joke.
It looks to me like the lowest point for Russia in the war. I cannot imagine it can get much worse. As long as the political leadership won’t go for some “diplomatic solution” dictated by the West, the tide of war should change. But the cost of those changes is much too high that it should have been.
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