The administration itself is also withdrawing. / Civilians are to leave Cherson
In view of the advancing Ukrainian troops in the Russian-occupied region of Kherson, the evacuation of civilians from the big city has begun, according to the occupation administration set up by Moscow.
On the other side of the Dnieper
Residents of Cherson were being taken to the other bank of the Dnieper River, it said. Russian state media showed pictures of people being taken across the river by ferries. 5000 are said to have already been taken away. The major bridges across the river had been destroyed or badly damaged in Ukrainian attacks.
A total of between 50,000 and 60,000 people are to be brought to the east bank of the Dnieper or to Russia, announced the administrator of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, according to the Russian state news agency TASS. The evacuation is expected to take about six days. Civilians are now banned from entering the Kherson region for seven days. Before the war almost 300,000 people lived in the city, how many there are at present is not known.
Kyiv accused Russia of wanting to stir up fears with the evacuation. “The Russians are trying to scare the people of Kherson with false newsletters about the bombing of the city by our army,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Andriy Yermak told Telegram. With the evacuation, Russia is running a “propaganda show”. Ukrainian forces “are not firing at Ukrainian cities,” Yermak wrote.
Administration leaves Kherson
According to their own statements, the occupation administration is also withdrawing completely from the city of Cherson. Saldo told the Russian broadcaster Rossija 24: “As of today, all government structures in the city, the civil and military administration, all ministries, will be relocated to the left bank of the river.” However, the Russian army will fight “to the death” in the city against the advancing Ukrainian troops.
Russia is preparing for a Ukrainian advance in the Cherson region and the city of the same name and is calling on the population there to get to safety. The Ukrainian military will soon launch an offensive against the city of Kherson, said the region’s deputy administrator Kirill Stremusov. “I asked you to take my words seriously and to implement them: the fastest possible evacuation,” he wrote on Wednesday night.
Russian army on the defensive
The new supreme commander of Russian troops in Ukraine admitted that the situation in the region was difficult. The situation can be described as tense, Sergey Surovikin told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
In the past few weeks, Russian troops have been pushed back 20 to 30 kilometers and are at risk of being pushed to the other bank of the Dnieper River. Russia annexed the Cherson region and three other Ukrainian regions in September after the sham referendums that were harshly criticized internationally.