Tags: russia | withdrawal | kherson | ukraine | joe biden | midterms

Russia Held Off Announcing Kherson Retreat Until After Midterms: Report

By    |   Tuesday, 15 November 2022 10:22 AM EST

Russia may have delayed announcing its withdrawal from Kherson partly to avoid giving President Joe Biden and Democrats a political victory before last week's midterm elections, CNN reported.

The report is based on U.S. intelligence that found that senior Russian officials discussed the election as a factor during deliberations about the withdrawal announcement.

Waiting to announce the withdrawal from the Ukrainian city until after the midterms was always a "pre-planned condition," a person familiar with the intelligence told CNN.

However, the midterms were not the only factor in Russia determining when to announce its withdrawal. Military analysts say President Vladimir Putin's forces had few other operational options and had been preparing to pull back for weeks, CNN reported.

One CNN source said Russia probably overestimated the impact a troops withdrawal announcement would have on the elections.

"I doubt Americans would really have noticed," said the source, who's familiar with western intelligence.

Still, Biden last week hinted that his administration believed the timing of Russia's announcement was more than coincidence.

"I find it interesting they waited until after the election to make that judgment, which we knew for some time they were going to be doing, and it's evidence of the fact that they have some real problems – the Russian military," Biden said at a Wednesday press conference.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that special military units entered Kherson after Russia troops evacuated from the city that Putin just weeks ago declared would be joined to Russia "forever."

Russia ordered its troops to withdraw from the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine on Wednesday in a further major blow to its campaign amid a Ukrainian counter-offensive.

CNN reported that intelligence suggesting Russia wanted to avoid giving the Biden administration and Democrats positive news before the elections fuels the narrative that Putin is betting a GOP-led Congress will offer less support to Ukraine.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in line to become Speaker of the House if Republicans gain a majority in the chamber, recently told CNN: "I'm very supportive of Ukraine. I think there has to be accountability going forward. … You always need, not a blank check, but make sure the resources are going to where it is needed. And make sure Congress, and the Senate, have the ability to debate it openly."

The Associated Press and AFP contributed to this story.

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Newsfront
Russia may have delayed announcing its withdrawal from Kherson partly to avoid giving President Joe Biden and Democrats a political victory before last week's midterm elections, CNN reported.
russia, withdrawal, kherson, ukraine, joe biden, midterms
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2022-22-15
Tuesday, 15 November 2022 10:22 AM
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