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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2:07 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Analysis: Russia's withdrawal from half of Kherson is both humiliating and unsurprising

Analysis from CNN's Tim Lister

Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled gun at a Russian position near Kherson, Ukraine on November 9.
Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled gun at a Russian position near Kherson, Ukraine on November 9. (Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters)

Russia’s Defense Ministry says its troops are preparing to withdraw from a large part of the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson, in a move that’s humiliating but also — after the developments of recent weeks — unsurprising.

The plan would give up thousands of square kilometers (including some of Ukraine’s best farmland) that Russia has occupied since the early days of the invasion, and was formally declared its territory just five weeks ago.

At a choreographed meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gen. Sergey Surovikin — the recently appointed commander of what Moscow refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine — put the best possible face on the withdrawal.

Since August, Russian troops have killed 9,500 Ukrainian soldiers in Kherson and successfully repelled “up to 80% to 90% of enemy missiles,” Surovikin claimed.

Nevertheless, a retreat would protect the lives of civilians and troops, he said.

“I understand that this is a very difficult decision, but at the same time we will preserve the most important thing — the lives of our servicemen and the overall combat capability of the grouping of troops, which is futile to keep on the right (west) bank in a limited area,” Surovikin said.

Russian commentators and officials have carefully avoided the word retreat, spinning the “withdrawal” as a smart military call to regroup on the eastern side of the river Dnipro, in defensible positions that Ukrainian forces would struggle to destroy.

It’s not known at this stage how the Ukrainians will respond. Their troops on the southern front lines are exhausted and the land ahead of them is likely to be heavily mined. Pursuing the Russian troops would shed more blood, as would any fighting in dense areas like Kherson city.

Read Tim Lister's full analysis here.

12:30 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Putin will not attend G20 summit in person, Russian embassy says

From CNN's Mayumi Maruyama and Nectar Gan

Russian President Vladimir Putin enters the hall for his press conference in Sochi, Russia on October 31.
Russian President Vladimir Putin enters the hall for his press conference in Sochi, Russia on October 31. (Contributor/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend in person a summit of leaders from the Group of 20 nations in Bali next week, the Russian embassy in Indonesia told CNN on Thursday.

Putin will be represented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said Yulia Tomskaya, the chief of protocol at the embassy.

Tomskaya added that Putin is still deciding if he will join one of the meetings virtually.

Putin’s decision not to attend the G20 summit in person saves him the embarrassment of being confronted — or shunned — by other world leaders over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the lead up to the event, Western countries and Ukraine have pressured Indonesia, the G20 host, to step up its condemnation of Moscow and withdraw its invitation to Putin for the summit.

Read more here.

12:36 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Zelensky hopes US bipartisan support of Ukraine aid continues after midterms

From CNN's Claire Calzonetti, Madalena Araujo, Emmet Lyons and Niamh Kenned

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with CNN on Wednesday, November 9.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with CNN on Wednesday, November 9. (CNN)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday thanked the United States, especially US taxpayers, for the billions of dollars of military aid they have given to Ukraine and asked for it to continue.

"We would really like for the support — especially the amount of support — to stay the same," he said in an interview with CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour.

The Ukrainian leader also commented on recent "mixed messages" from Republican lawmakers, a reference to threats made to cut aid to Ukraine if Republicans win control of the House in the midterms. Zelensky said he hoped US bipartisan support for the Ukrainian war effort would continue whatever the outcome.

"We are grateful for bipartisan support. We would really like to have this bipartisan support remain after the elections," he said. "It’s very important to preserve this level of support — because the US support sends a very significant, powerful signal."

Note: The full interview with Zelensky will air on Amanpour at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday.

12:39 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Artillery given to Ukraine by US helped "break" Russian offensive, Zelensky tells CNN

From CNN’s Claire Calzonetti, Madalena Araujo, Emmet Lyons and Niamh Kenned

A self-propelled artillery vehicle fires near Bakhmut, Ukraine on Wednesday, November 9.
A self-propelled artillery vehicle fires near Bakhmut, Ukraine on Wednesday, November 9. (LIBKOS/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday said a recent Pentagon assessment that Russia has lost 50% of its tanks in the war in Ukraine “more or less corresponds to reality.” 

In an interview with CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, Zelensky said Russia has suffered a “stunning” number of losses of military personnel and artillery. 

On Tuesday, Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy told reporters Russia will come out of the war “weaker than when it went in,” having “probably lost half of their main battle tanks in the entire Russian military.” Kahl also pointed to the fact that Russia has “bogged down more than 80% of their land force in Ukraine” and exhausted the majority of its precision guided weapons in Ukraine.

When asked by Amanpour if the Pentagon’s figures matched Ukraine’s tally, Zelensky responded: “I think this more or less corresponds to reality — although frankly speaking, nobody knows the full reality, especially as regards personnel.”

Zelensky said he estimated Russia has suffered “10 times” more losses than Ukraine, adding that although he couldn’t give exact figures there is “a very significant difference” between the losses sustained by the two countries.

He also said Ukraine’s reluctance to throw men away as “cannon fodder” is another reason why it has not suffered as many casualties as Russia. 

“Whenever we ask our partners for artillery or armored vehicles, that it is not just about the weapons, but first of all protection for our military,” Zelensky added. 

The Ukrainian leader pointed to the fact that artillery provided to Ukraine by the United States and Europe succeeded in helping to “break” the Russian military offensive. 

“We stopped them, we de-occupied a large part of our territory. And this indeed was helped by the artillery and the new technologies,” Zelensky stressed.
1:04 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Russia and Ukraine each likely suffered 100,000 troops killed or wounded, top US general says

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, speaks at an event at The Economic Club of New York, called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “tremendous strategic mistake” on Wednesday November 9.
Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, speaks at an event at The Economic Club of New York, called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “tremendous strategic mistake” on Wednesday November 9. (The Economic Club of New York)

Russia has suffered more than 100,000 killed and wounded soldiers as a result of the war in Ukraine, the top US general said Wednesday evening — and Ukraine is probably looking at similar numbers.

Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, speaking at an event at The Economic Club of New York, called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “tremendous strategic mistake” for which the country would pay “for years and years and years to come.”

The war, which began in February, has caused a tremendous amount of human suffering, Milley said, including between 15 million and 30 million refugees and about 40,000 Ukrainian civilians killed. 

“You’re looking at well over 100,000 Russian soldiers killed and wounded,” Milley said. “Same thing probably on the Ukrainian side.”

Road to peace: Milley said there may be a chance to negotiate an end to the conflict if and when the front lines stabilize during winter. 

“When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it,” Milley said. “Seize the moment.”

But if negotiations never materialized or failed, Milley said the United States would continue to arm Ukraine, even as outright military victory for either side looks increasingly unlikely.

“There has to be a mutual recognition that military victory is probably in the true sense of the word may be not achievable through military means, and therefore you need to turn to other means,” he said.

Kherson withdrawal: Milley also said the US was seeing initial indications that Russia was indeed pulling out of Kherson, as they had stated. But he said the withdrawal of up to 30,000 Russian troops from the west bank of the Dnipro River could take days or even weeks. 

“I believe they’re doing it in order to preserve their force, to re-establish defensive lines south of the river, but that remains to be seen,” Milley said. “Right now, the early indicators are they’re doing what they say they’re doing and we’re seeing those early indicators.”
10:02 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Zelensky says Russia's announcement of a withdrawal near Kherson might just be a regroup

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that Russia's announcement of a withdrawal near the southern city of Kherson may be a strategic move to regroup forces.

But he also said, in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, that at a time of his choosing, Ukrainian progress on the battlefield would come.

"So they [The Russians] are ready to defend this region and they’re not ready to leave the city, and the fact that they are in these homes [they’ve occupied] means that they are seriously preparing, but we are also seriously prepared for these developments."

He added that Ukrainians "are not considering this as just one single operation."

"We have a strategy and different directions," he added.

Some background: Russian state media reported that Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has ordered a withdrawal of Russian forces from the west bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. His order comes as Ukrainian forces advance toward the city of Kherson from two directions. 

1:22 a.m. ET, November 10, 2022

Biden says he hopes Putin will be more willing to negotiate Griner's release with midterms over

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

US President Joe Biden speaks with reporters in the State Dining Room at the White House on November 9.
US President Joe Biden speaks with reporters in the State Dining Room at the White House on November 9. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden said he’s hopeful that with the midterm election over, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be more willing to discuss the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was recently transferred to a Russian penal colony to serve the remainder of a nine-year drug smuggling sentence that was upheld in late October. 

“My guess is — my hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about prisoner exchange,” Biden said Wednesday during a news conference at the White House. “That is my intention. My intention is to get her home.”

The President said the US has had discussions with Russia — but is hoping that with the election over, "there is a willingness to negotiate more specifically with us."

Asked if he could explain some of the alternative ways forward the administration had previously referred to and how Russia had responded to them, Biden answered, “I can but I won’t.” 

“I’m determined to get her home safely, along with others I might add,” he said.
7:41 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

British national dies in Ukraine, UK government says

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London

The UK government said Wednesday that a British man lost his life in Ukraine.

The UK foreign office in a statement said it was "supporting the family of a British national who has lost his life in Ukraine," but did not reveal the person's name.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) added that it was in touch with "the local authorities in connection with his death." 

In June, former British Army soldier Jordan Gatley was shot and killed while fighting in Ukraine's Severodonetsk, CNN reported at the time. 

British aid worker Paul Urey died in the annexed Donetsk region of Ukraine earlier this year after the Russian invasion started, CNN reported.

7:23 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022

Senior Russian-appointed official in occupied Kherson "killed in road accident"

From CNN's Tim Lister, Uliana Pavlova, Anna Chernova, Darya Tarasova and Nathan Hodge

One of the most senior Russian-appointed officials in occupied Ukrainian territory has been killed, Russian officials and state news agencies said Wednesday.

The Russian-appointed deputy head of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, Kirill Stremousov, died in a road accident, the press secretary of the head of the region said, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Also on Wednesday, Russia ordered a retreat from the west bank of the Dnipro River across the Kherson region, a dramatic setback for Moscow in the face of recent Ukrainian advances.

Stremousov was killed in an accident on the highway between Kherson and Armyansk in Crimea, the Russian state media company Vesti (VGTRK) reported, citing the region’s health minister. Stremousov was 45 years old, according to Vesti.

His death was also announced by the Russian-appointed “head” of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, who wrote in a statement on Telegram: “It is very hard for me to say that Kirill Stremousov died today. He died on the territory of the Kherson region, moving in a car that got into an accident.”

Read more here.