Newly appointed Russian commander laments ‘extremely difficult’ situation in Kherson, Kiev advances south
Moscow-backed General Sergei Surovykin declared the status of Russia’s “special military operation” in Kherson “very difficult” amid Kyiv’s efforts to retake the southern region from Ukraine.
“The Russian military will ensure the safe evacuation of people,” Surovikhin said.
Ukraine has made significant inroads towards Kherson in recent weeks on the west (or right) bank of the Dnipro River. The head of Ukraine’s security intelligence said he hoped to retake the city by the end of the year.
In the latest sign that Russian forces are fighting Ukrainian advances, the Kremlin announced last week that its forces would help evacuate residents of occupied Kherson without harming the rest of the region.
The Ukrainian vice president of the Kherson region called the “deportations” from Russia a “semi-voluntary deportation of the Ukrainian people.” The practice has raised serious concerns from international organizations and human rights groups, which have said it could amount to a crime against humanity.
Ukraine’s military said on Monday that Russian forces were busy building fortifications in the Kherson region and moving civilians into Crimea.
A pro-Russian leader in Ukraine’s Kherson region announced on Tuesday that there would be a new “organized relocation” of civilians away from frontline settlements.
“I have taken the difficult but correct decision to announce the organized relocation of the inhabitants of the communities of Perislav, Pilozerka, Snihurivka and Oleksandrivka to the left bank of the Dnipro River,” Vladimir Zalto said in a telegram referring to the east bank. Dnipro River.
“The decision was made by building massive defensive fortifications to repel any attack. Civilians have no place where the military is operating. Let the Russian military do its job.”
Salto said civilians who decided to move to “parts of Russia” would receive housing assistance.
Some background: A July report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) called Russia’s “mass deportations of civilians,” among other alleged abuses, crimes against humanity.
The OSCE mission, which prepared the report, wrote that 1.3 million Ukrainian citizens had been deported against their will to Russia and said there was evidence that tens of thousands of civilians were being held in so-called filtration centers before being transported to Russian-controlled areas. Eastern Ukraine.
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