Fighting shifts east after Russia withdraws from Kherson

According to both Russian and Ukrainian sources, the focus of the fighting shifted east after Russia withdrew from the right bank (northwest) of the Dnipro River in the southern Kherson region.

Fighting is reportedly most intense in the eastern Donetsk region, which together with Luhansk make up the Russian-speaking Donbass region.

In late September, Russia formally annexed Donetsk and Luhansk, along with southern Kherson and the Zaporizhia region. Since then, Moscow has considered all four of her regions to be the territory of the Russian Federation.

Kyiv and its Western allies refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the annexation.

Epoch Times photo
A police checkpoint next to where two men were killed in a missile attack on November 15, 2022, in the village of Przewodov in eastern Poland, near the war-torn Ukraine border, November 17, 2022. Polish soldiers passing. (Wojtek Radwanski and Damien Simonert/AFP)

On November 17, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arrestovich said the ongoing fighting in Donetsk was now concentrated in the towns of Pavlyvka, Vkhredal, Marianka and Bakhmut.

Fighting is also reportedly ongoing in the towns of Avdiuka and Bilohorivka, according to Ukrainian sources.

Pro-Russian sources have also reported heavy fighting in Donetsk, where Ukrainian forces have suffered heavy losses in both personnel and equipment over the past 24 hours, they say.

In a statement delivered by Russia’s TASS news agency on November 17, the military wing of the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic said dozens of Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and a large amount of military equipment destroyed. .

Earlier this week, Moscow claimed that the Donetsk town of Pavlivka had fallen to Russian forces and local allies after several days of heavy fighting.

As many as 1,400 Ukrainian troops have been killed in days of fighting in and around the strategic town, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Epoch Times was unable to confirm the field report from either side.

Redeployment to the Eastern Front

Ukrainian forces moved to Kherson and other strategic positions near Dnipro.

Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, say they have evidence that Russian troops committed atrocities against local civilians before withdrawing from the region.

Russian officials have denied the allegations, accusing the Ukrainian military of carrying out “extrajudicial reprisals” against the pro-Russian residents of Kherson.

The Russian withdrawal is widely hailed as a major victory for Kyiv.

But it has also reportedly helped free up a significant amount of Russian personnel and equipment that have been redeployed to the Eastern Front and the adjacent Zaporizhia region.

Meanwhile, on November 17, Russian forces continued to attack energy infrastructure deep within Ukrainian territory, causing widespread power disruptions across the country.

According to Kyiv, this week saw the heaviest shelling of Ukrainian infrastructure since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine almost nine months ago.

“Missiles are now flying over Kyiv,” Prime Minister Denis Shmykhal told the Interfax Ukrainian news agency on November 17.

Russian forces are now attacking a gas production facility and a weapons factory in the central Ukraine city of Dnipro, he added.

On the same day, Ukrainian sources also reported large explosions in the capital Kyiv and the southern port city of Odessa.

poland missile incident fallout

Meanwhile, in a rare show of discord between the White House and Kyiv, US President Joe Biden has vehemently disputed Zelensky’s claims that the missile that hit Polish territory this week was launched by Russia.

“That’s not proof,” Biden told reporters on Nov. 17 as he returned to Washington after the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Two days earlier, a missile hit a grain drying facility in the Polish village of Przewodow, killing two people.

Przewodow is just 3.5 miles from the Polish-Ukrainian border.

The incident, which occurred as Russian forces continued to strike targets inside Ukraine, sparked initial speculation that the missile was launched by Russia.

Polish and Ukrainian officials issued statements blaming Russia for the incident, but it soon became clear that the projectile was most likely a Ukrainian air defense missile.

At a UN Security Council meeting on the night of November 16, Russian UN envoy Vasily Nebenzia accused Warsaw and Kyiv of trying to “provoke a direct clash between Russia and NATO.”

Zelensky “couldn’t miss the information that it was a Ukrainian missile fired by an air defense system that flew to Poland,” TASS quoted Nebenzia.

“It was not just deliberate disinformation, it was a deliberate attempt to entice NATO, which is waging a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, to engage in direct conflict with our country,” he said.

The Polish government “didn’t change much,” Nebenzia added, noting that Warsaw had initially said “with complete confidence” that Poland had “been attacked by Russia.”

Nonetheless, Kyiv appears to have doubled down on its claims, demanding access to a bomb site in southeastern Poland where a joint Polish-American team is currently investigating the incident.

“Ukrainians have asked for access to the investigation site,” Jakub Kumoch, an adviser to Polish President Andrzej Duda, said on November 17.

“If both parties agree, to the best of my knowledge, such access will be forthcoming, barring any objections from the American side,” he added.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Adam Morrow