Meanwhile, Russian soldiers are said to be living in the homes of “evacuated” residents. This says a resident of Kherson to the American news agency AP. The city in the south is expected to become the center of the war as Ukrainian forces are about to retake it.
Russian-controlled local authorities in Kherson “evacuated” tens of thousands of civilians to Crimea or to Russia. Kyiv does not talk about evacuations, but talks about “forced deportations carried out by the Russian army.”
A Kherson resident told the Associated Press that Russian soldiers are settling in evacuated apartments. “They forced the residents of the city to evacuate, and then the Russian soldiers moved to empty apartments all over Kherson,” said one of the residents. It is clear that they are preparing to fight with the Ukrainian army in the city.
“There are almost no food shipments in the city, residents use their own supplies and queue in front of the few shops that are still open,” said Konstantin, whose last name has remained for security reasons.
Kherson was the first major city to fall into Russian hands and of great military importance. The Ukrainian army is advancing steadily towards Kherson and wants nothing less than to reclaim the entire region. Rumors are mounting that the Russians have already abandoned the western occupied Ukrainian region.
The senior Russian-installed official in Kherson reported that Russian armed forces are likely to leave the West Bank, which includes the capital of the same name. “Most likely, our units, our soldiers, will leave for the Left (East) Bank,” the Russian-Ukrainian Strimosov said in an interview with a pro-Russian online media outlet.
According to military experts from the West, the Russians may have decided that “the city is not worth fighting.” However, it is always possible that the military leadership will change its mind in the near future, even if everything currently points to a withdrawal, experts say.
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