Moscow – Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said Friday Civilians in the Kherson region of Ukraine should be evicted from the areas “Most Dangerous” of Conflict First recognition by the Kremlin leader Strong progress kyiv counter attack that in a region Moscow claims to be annexed. And a forecast that Ukraine considers “Terrible War”
“Current residents of Kherson To be removed from the most dangerous war zonesPutin made the announcement at a short ceremony marking National Unity Day in Moscow’s Red Square.
“Common people Do not throw bombs As a result of offensive, counter-offensive and other actions”, he added during an exchange with Russian volunteers engaged in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, a Ukrainian territory annexed by Moscow since the end of September.
The Putin’s opinion It arose spontaneously after an activist told the Russian president about the mission to deliver Russian flags to Kherson, which was shown on state television and reported by state news agency RIA.
Last week, Russian occupation forces had already indicated 70,000 civilians fled their homes Situated towards the west on the right bank of the river and close to the front line.
Putin spoke after Moscow-appointed officials in the occupied Kherson region in the country’s south. Russian troops may leave the same city, A claim Ukrainian officials met with some skepticism.
The Kremlin-installed regional government has already evacuated tens of thousands of civilians from the city as the Ukrainian army threatens to intensify shelling as it advances a counteroffensive to retake Kherson. Ukraine is one of four Ukrainian provinces declared by Putin to be part of Russia At a ceremony in the Kremlin in September.
Authorities removed the Russian flag from the Kherson administration building on Thursday. A week after the authorities were evacuated.
According to Natalia Humenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Kiev military in the south, the return of the flag could be a ruse. “We should not rush to celebrate.” In an interview with Ukrainian television, he noted that some Russian soldiers were posing as civilians.
On Thursday, Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-appointed deputy governor of Kherson, released several video appeals for civilians to leave the region of the province on the west bank of the Dnieper River. said Russian forces will soon cede the west bank of the Dnipro to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, The New York Times According to Ukrainian military intelligence, Russia sent some 40,000 soldiers on the west bank of the Dnipro River to prevent the Ukrainian army from retaking Kherson.
“As Ukrainian forces advance from the north and west, they are met with stiff resistance Ukrainian officials said they expect the battle for the southern city to be brutal. Its loss would be a major strategic and symbolic loss for President Putin, the American newspaper notes.
Kherson region, most of which is under Russian control Shortly after launching his military campaign in Ukraine on February 24, Considered strategically important, It controls both land access and water supplies to Crimea, which annexed Russia in 2014. It is the only regional capital that Russia has captured since February.
Putin, on the other hand, signed today An order to remove the ban on enlistment in the military for citizens whose convictions were “unserved or suspended” for a “serious” crime. The ban remains in place for those convicted of child abuse and other crimes, Interfax agency reported.
In his message on Friday, Putin announced this 318,000 new soldiers joined the armed forces The country is under a call for mass mobilization that began in September. Most were still in training, but 49,000 were already in combat, he said.
Agencies AFP, AP, ANSA, Reuters and The New York Times