Russia to evacuate civilians in annexed Kherson as Ukraine presses counterattack

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Russia to evacuate civilians in annexed Kherson as Ukraine presses counterattack
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With Ukraine steadily recapturing territory Russian-occupied, a worried Moscow has promised free accommodation to residents of the annexed Kherson region to tempt them to flee to Russia.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Oct 14, 2022 14:09 IST

A Russian military truck drives past an unexploded munition during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the Russia-controlled village of Chornobaivka, Ukraine (Reuters photo)

By India Today Web Desk: With Ukraine steadily recapturing territory occupied by Russian forces in the east and south, a worried Moscow has promised free accommodation to residents of the partially occupied Kherson region to tempt them to flee to Russia.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin made the announcementafter the Russia-backed leader of Kherson, where Ukrainian troops have mounted a spirited counterattack in recent weeks, asked the Kremlin to organize an evacuation from four cities in the region.

“We suggested that all residents of the Kherson region, if they wish, to protect themselves from the consequences of missile strikes … go to other regions,” Russian-installed Kherson administration chief Vladimir Saldo said in a video message. People should “leave with their children”.

The first civilians fleeing from Kherson were due to arrive in Russia’s Rostov region on Friday, TASS news agency reported.

Kherson is one of the four Ukrainian territories illegally annexed by Russia through sham referendums held last month. The three other annexed regions are Donetsk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia.

After launching its invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022, Russia captured around 20 per cent of its neighbour’s territory – primarily in the east.

Over the past several weeks, Moscow has lost some of these areas again but still controls around 90,000 sq km, mostly in the Donbas area and in the southeast of Ukraine.

Ukrainian armed forces have reported territorial gains along the southern front, including the recapture of 75 settlements in the Kherson region in the last month, news agency AP reported citing official data shared by the Ukraine government.

In the east, Ukraine’s armed forces have recaptured 502 settlements in the Kharkiv region, 43 in the Donetsk region and seven in the Luhansk region.

On the other hand, British intelligence reports stated that Russian-backed forces have made tactical advancesin the last three days towards the centre of Bakhmut, a strategically important town in the eastern Donetsk region, and likely advanced into villages south of the town

Meanwhile, Russia continued its targeted attacks on critical infrastructure across Ukraine, in seeming retaliation for the explosion on a Moscow-funded bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland. The Kremlin has accused the Ukrainian military of staging the blast.

On Thursday night, multiple Russian missile strikes shook the Zaphorizhzhia region as the city continued to be a focal point while Ukraine pushed its counteroffensive on the southern front.

(Inputs from Agencies)



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