The Ukrainian defense ministry is pictured.

The Russians are leaving Kherson. It is poised to leave behind a lot of dead and destroyed people.

Kherson, a port at the mouth of the Dnipro River on the Black Sea, was one of Russia's biggest prizes as its forces rolled into Ukraine in late February.

Kherson, with its strategic port and railyard and prewar population of 300,000, was given up by disorganized Ukrainian forces. Russian positions on the southern front were anchored by Kherson.

The liberation of Kherson was a priority for the city. Moscow wanted to hold onto the city. In May, the Ukrainian army attacked Russian supply lines around Kherson and even holed up the bridge over the Dnipro.

There were Russian forces in Kherson Oblast. Gaps in Russian lines in the east were exploited by the Ukrainian army when they launched a counteroffensive in September.

The Ukrainian troops in the south fought back. The counteroffensive from the south faced more resistance than the counteroffensive from the east.

The Russian coastal troops were destroyed. The Russian brigade retreated as the Ukrainian brigade advanced. A Russian airborne division briefly held off a Ukrainian marine brigade as Russians fled to the north of the Dnipro river.

A difficult situation has arisen in Kherson according to the recently appointed commander of Russian forces in Ukraine.

Two weeks ago, the escape began. The U.K. Defense Ministry said that Russian forces are reinforcing crossing points over the Dnipro River.

Russian troops and their support personnel crossed the Dnipro at times. The Russians ordered civilians to cross the Dnipro. Many will not obey.

The Kremlin is ready to give up Kherson because of the wet Ukrainian winter. It will cause as much pain as possible on its way out. Recent draftees are being forced to fight a rearguard action in order to buy time for better troops to reach Beryslav, according to a report.

Russian officials are opening the dam to send more water down the river towards Kherson and the river delta. The flooding could make things difficult for the Ukrainians.

An apocalyptic option is available. The Russians could blow the dam if they brought across all their troops. The nearby free city of Mykolaiv is a major base of operations for the Ukrainian army in the south.

The time is running out. The mud is getting deeper as the weather gets worse. Both sides of the conflict aren't ready to fight in the mud. The Russian retreat and the Ukrainian offensive are going to slow down.

The Russians are likely to blow the dam soon. They have options to limit the damage.

Special operations forces could be on the dam. They could speed up their operations so they could liberate Beryslav and Kherson before the Russians. Russia's retreat could turn into a big problem if the Ukrainians speed up. The Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C. said Friday that Russian forces likely intend to continue that withdrawal over the next several weeks.