November 10, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Jack Guy, Adrienne Vogt, Matt Meyer and Seán Federico O'Murchú, CNN

Updated 8:00 PM ET, Thu November 10, 2022
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12:58 p.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Ukraine says it is pushing front line back as officials caution about possible Russian scorched-earth tactics

From CNN's Mick Krever, Anna Chernova and Tim Lister

Ukraine’s military said it had retaken swathes of territory in Kherson on Thursday after Moscow ordered a partial withdrawal from the area, though officials in Kyiv warned that retreating Russian soldiers could turn the regional capital into a “city of death” on their way out.

A military spokesperson said that in just 24 hours, Ukrainian forces had pushed the front line in the key southern region of Kherson forward by 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) and taken control of more than 260 square kilometers of territory (100 square miles). Kyiv said it took control of the towns of Snihurivka and Kyselivka, both of which sit along key roads leading into Kherson city, the regional capital. Kyselivka is located about 15 kilometers (9 miles) away from Kherson city.

Moscow on Wednesday said its troops would withdraw from the west bank of the Dnipro River, an area that includes Kherson city, in one of the biggest military setbacks for Russia since its invasion began. A spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry said that effort began the following day.

Officials in Kyiv, however, have treated the announcement with skepticism. Kherson is one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia attempted to annex in violation of international law, and some doubt that Moscow would give up fighting for a territory filled with people that Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed would be Russian citizens “forever.”

Ukrainian officials are also concerned that the Russian military will embrace scorched-earth tactics and leave behind a trail of devastation in the wake of their withdrawal. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, alleged Thursday that Russia “wants to turn Kherson into a ‘city of death.’”

Ukrainian military spokesperson Vladyslav Nazarov said Russian forces were continuing to shell areas recaptured by the Ukrainian military and attempted to strike humanitarian aid distribution points.

However, signs of the retreat have begun to emerge. Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Washington had seen the “beginnings” of a Russian withdrawal in Kherson. Satellite imagery taken last week of Russian-occupied Crimea showed trenches being dug near the border with Kherson, a possible sign that Russian military leaders are nervous about the progress of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

12:19 p.m. ET, November 10, 2022

UK defense secretary on Russia's withdrawal from Kherson: "We will believe it when we see it"

From CNN's Eve Brennan in London 

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Thursday expressed caution about Moscow ordering a partial withdrawal from occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson region, saying "we’ll believe it when we see it,” according to PA media.  

"We’ll believe it when we see it and I think we should all be cautious, as [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelensky was, that there is still Russian tricks and all sorts of things,” Wallace said, speaking at a meeting of ministers from the Joint Expeditionary Force nations in Edinburgh. 

He added that it would be a "significant psychological blow" for Russian troops if they left the area, PA reported.  

"Of course, this is Russia, so we haven't yet seen them leave en masse," Wallace said.  

11:36 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Ukrainian officials hope for return of power and heat to Mykolaiv as Russian forces move away

From CNN's Tim Lister

A destroyed building in a village near the newly recaptured city of Snihurivka, in the Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, on November 10.
A destroyed building in a village near the newly recaptured city of Snihurivka, in the Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, on November 10. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

As Russian forces partially withdraw in the Kherson region, Ukrainian authorities in neighboring Mykolaiv are hoping for some respite from the persistent missile attacks that have hit the city over the past few months.

Vitalii Kim, head of Mykolaiv regional administration, said on his Telegram channel that there is "lots of good news for today. We are preparing to reconnect electricity, heat, humanitarian aid kits, medicines, etc."

The last few settlements in the Mykolaiv region occupied by the Russians have now been liberated, but Kim said, "We continue to remain silent, because it is all the military's business." 

No groups or journalists would be allowed to visit liberated villages, he said.

Kim also had a message for people who had left the now-liberated town of Snihurivka: "Do not rush to return, it is too early."

11:25 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Loud explosions heard in southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol, displaced mayor says

From Julia Kesaieva

An image from the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol shows smoke clouding the evening skyline.

The Ukrainian mayor of the city, Ivan Fedorov, said on Telegram that there were "4 loud explosions that the whole city heard."

Fedorov, who is not in Melitopol himself, said, "we are clarifying the details."

The city has been occupied by the Russians since the early days of the invasion but in recent months, military targets and railroads have been regularly attacked by long-range Ukrainian artillery. 

11:23 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Russian-appointed leader of Kherson vows to defend territory of the region despite retreat

From CNN's Katharina Krebs in London

A destroyed Russian tank in the outskirts of Ivanivka, a liberated village in the Kherson region, Ukraine, on November 9.
A destroyed Russian tank in the outskirts of Ivanivka, a liberated village in the Kherson region, Ukraine, on November 9. (Celestino Arce/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

The Russian-appointed "head" of Kherson vowed on Thursday to defend all territory of the region, despite Russia’s decision to transfer its troops to the east bank of the Dnipro River, according to Russian state media RIA Novosti.  

“Yes, it’s hard for us now, but still we will defend our land. Our land in the Kherson region, all its territory, all its people will definitely be part of the Russian Federation,” Vladimir Saldo in a video address shared with RIA Novosti. 

Despite Saldo's claims, a number of social media videos from the west bank of the Kherson region found by CNN show that Ukrainian troops are advancing and appear to be encountering little resistance. 

Saldo added that the situation in the region is now turbulent, and Russian leadership is forced to make "difficult decisions," adding that "justice will be restored, because it is worth fighting for." 

On Thursday, the deputy head of the Russian-installed Kherson regional administration, Ekaterina Gubareva, told RIA that civilians retain the opportunity to leave from the west-bank part of the Kherson region, despite the organized departure already being stopped. 

CNN's Tim Lister contributed reporting to this post.

11:20 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Germany pledges more modern air defense systems for Ukraine 

From CNN’s Claudia Otto and Nadine Schmidt in Berlin and Jorge Engels in London

The Hagglunds Bv410 IRIS-T platform, equipped to shoot air defence missiles from the ground, pictured here in 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
The Hagglunds Bv410 IRIS-T platform, equipped to shoot air defence missiles from the ground, pictured here in 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Timm Ziegenthaler/Stocktrek Images/AP)

Germany on Thursday pledged to send additional military support to Ukraine, including three crucial IRIS-T SLM air defense systems and IRIS-T missile, according to a statement published by the German government.

Kyiv appealed for more German IRIS-T SLM units in late October following days of heavy attacks by Russian missiles. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the high-tech IRIS-T SLM as “one of the most modern air defense systems in the world” during a visit to Ukraine in late October.

Germany has already delivered one IRIS-T SLM air-to-air missile system to Ukraine. 

Berlin also said it would supply Kyiv with 42 mine-clearing tanks; four mobile and protected mine-clearing systems; four mobile, remote-controlled and protected mine-clearing systems; and five mobile reconnaissance systems on vehicles, according to the German government’s statement.

The German government did not provide dates of delivery until after handing over the armaments and supplies, the statement said.

Germany also announced it had over the past week delivered to Kyiv an unspecified number of IRIS-T SLM missiles, 30 armored infantry mobility vehicles (DINGO), four additional anti-drone sensors and jammers, five tank transporter tractor M1070 Oshkosh units, and one additional lift truck.

Julia Kesaieva contributed reporting to this post.

10:33 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Ukrainian military reports progress in Kherson, saying 12 villages have been taken back in one area

From Julia Kesaieva in Kyiv

The Ukrainian Armed Forces' Operational Command South said Russian forces are regrouping in Kherson and "taking measures to partially withdraw troops to the east bank of the Dnipro."

Spokesperson Vladyslav Nazarov confirmed Ukrainian advances, saying that "over the past day, our troops at the junction of Kherson and Mykolaiv regions moved the front line by 7 kilometers [about 4 miles]. They liberated almost 260 square kilometers [about 100 square miles] of territory and 12 settlements."

But the Operational Command warned that Russian forces "continue to shell the liberated territories and deep rear areas."

It said that on Thursday morning, Russian troops shelled the recently liberated village of Zolota Balka in northeastern Kherson. 

"They tried to hit the humanitarian aid distribution points and administrative buildings of the authorities. Private yards were damaged," it added.

10:23 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Top general says US is seeing Russia starting Kherson withdrawal

From CNN's Michael Conte

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on October 12.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on October 12. (Olivier Matthys/AP)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said the US is seeing the “beginnings” of Russian forces withdrawing from Kherson.

“You are seeing the withdrawal of Russian forces out of Kherson. We’re seeing the beginnings of that. It was announced yesterday by [Russian] Defense Minister [Sergey] Shoigu. So that’s happening,” Milley said in an interview on CNBC.

On Wednesday, Russian state media said that Shoigu had ordered a withdrawal of Russian forces from the west bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region.

Milley said the Ukrainians have fought the Russian military “to a standstill.”

His comments came after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

10:15 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Videos show Ukrainian troops advancing in several areas of Kherson, being greeted by civilians

From Tim Lister, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Julia Kesaieva

Social media video emerging from the Kherson region in southern Ukraine shows Ukrainian troops moving into several villages — some heavily damaged — and examining what appear to be piles of ammunition boxes left behind by Russian soldiers.

In the village of Bruskynske in northern Kherson, soldiers received an emotional welcome from several elderly residents who appear to have stayed through the occupation. The civilians told soldiers that the Russians had killed six people through shelling and others had died during the occupation of the village, which lasted for at least six months. 

"It’s a nightmare what we have endured," one elderly woman said, claiming that two villagers died after being tortured.
"Half of the village houses were burned down," one man added.

A soldier then warned the civilians that "the military situation is uncertain, the [Russians] are pulling out and will be shelling [the village]."

Another video showed civilians turning out to greet soldiers arriving in the village of Pavlivka on the border of the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions.

Ukrainian soldiers also appeared with a flag at the town hall in Kyselivka, only about 15 kilometers (about 9 miles) from Kherson city on the Dnipro River.

The videos are from a wide range of places, from Stanislav — which is close to the Black Sea — to a broad arc more than 200 kilometers (about 124 miles) north and east. They indicate the Ukrainians are taking territory on several fronts on the west bank of Kherson region simultaneously, apparently encountering little resistance.

The Ukrainian progress through Kherson follows the decision announced Wednesday by the Russian military to pull its forces back to the east bank of the Dnipro.