- Russia’s recent withdrawal from west of Kherson was conducted in relatively good order compared to previous major Russian retreats during the war.
- During the retreat, vehicle losses were likely in the tens rather than hundreds, while much kit that was left behind was successfully destroyed by Russian forces to deny it to Ukraine.
- This relative success is likely partially due to a more effective, single operational command under General Sergei Surovikin. However, the force remains riven by poor junior and mid-level leadership and cover-up culture. For example, in recent months two companies subordinate to the Eastern Military District fled after their commander was killed. Other officers likely lied in an attempt to cover up the incident.
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