Russian occupation officials in Kherson (Ukraine) told civilians they had to evacuate because of the dangerous military situation Ukraine is entering into.
After being warned of a Ukrainian offensive, thousands fled the city across the Dnipro River over the next few days. This warning was renewed with urgency.
“Take care of your family and friends’ safety!” Russian authorities recommended that documents, money, and valuables not be forgotten.
The riverboats carrying people arrived from Kherson, loaded with boxes, bags and pets, at Oleshky on the other bank. One woman carried a baby and a pet dog while the other was carrying a toddler.
Many boats were filled with food and other vegetables. Russian emergency ministry staff carried elderly and children in prams to the vessels. Families waited to board buses for the Russian-annexed Crimea.
One resident stated that he did not want to leave but that he was still working. “We wanted to stay here, but now we don’t know.”
The battle for Kherson, which was almost entirely under Russian control for the eight-month war, appears to be at a critical juncture as advancing Ukrainian forces threaten Russian troops on Dnipro’s western banks.
In the region , the Russian-installed leader stated Russia would move around 10,000 people per day from Kherson and that Russia was willing to accept residents as a precaution to Ukraine’s attack.
Despite this warning, the occupation authorities invited all those still in the city Saturday’s “evening of Russian Literature, Music and Art” at Kherson’s Palace of Culture. An orchestra and a book reading will be held.
The Ukraine has placed a blockade on the Kherson front. The Russian commander General Sergei Surovikin stated this week that the situation at Kherson was already very difficult and that Russia would not rule out making difficult decisions.
In a briefing on Saturday 21 October, the Russian defense ministry stated that its forces had defeated a Ukrainian effort to break through its control over the Kherson region. Reuters could not independently verify battlefield claims.
Since its invasion on February 24, Russia’s sole province capital, Kherson has been held and retaken in its entirety. According to President Vladimir Putin, Russia claimed the Kherson region for its “forever” territory last month.
Putin said that he was ready to use nuclear weapons in defense of Russia’s claims to its territories. The declared annexation was condemned by Ukraine and its allies as well as the United Nations General Assembly.
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