Russia ‘forcibly evicted’ Kherson: Ukrainian officials


April 24, 2023 | 2:57 p.m

Russian forces are “forcibly evacuating civilians” from the main city of Kherson, Ukrainian authorities have claimed – apparently indicating that Moscow may withdraw its forces ahead of the hotly anticipated Ukrainian counter-attack.

I have information that the evacuation starts today [Sunday] under the pretext of protecting civilians from the consequences of heavy fighting in the region,” said Oleksandr Samoilenko, head of the Kherson Regional Council in Ukraine.

According to Samoilenko, Russian forces were “trying to steal as much as they can” as they retreated from the area this weekend, The Guardian reported.

Russian forces withdrew from Kherson in November, and have regularly launched attacks on the city across the Dnipro River since then.

Another Ukrainian official in Kherson, Serhiy Khlan, noted that Russian forces are looking to control civilians in the area.

Khalan said that the mercenary fighters of the Wagner Group were helping the Russian occupation officials during the weekend to control the civilian population near the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.

Russian forces were reportedly “trying to steal as much as they could” as they retreated from the area this weekend.
Aziz Karimov/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

While Ukraine’s confirmation cannot be verified, it comes within a day of reports that Ukrainian forces have established a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, southwest of Kherson.

A report released by the Institute for the Study of War on Saturday found that Ukraine’s location in the region may indicate “Russia’s lack of control over the region.”

The report that was analyzed Screenshots from pro-Kremlin military bloggersshows that Ukrainian forces are stationed near the town of Oleshki, where they have established “stable supply lines”.

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Ukrainian forces have gained a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, according to recent reports.
People wait in line to collect humanitarian food aid after the Russian bombing of Kherson on April 19, 2023.
Aziz Karimov/SOPA Pictures/Shutterstock

For the first time, the ISW says it has “observed reliable geophotographs of Ukrainian positions on the east bank along with multiple source Russian reports of a permanent Ukrainian presence there.”

An apparent increase in Ukrainian military activity in the south of the country has fueled speculation about a Kiev counter-offensive in the spring.

Natalya Homenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Operational Command of Southern Ukraine, said that details of military operations in the Dnieper delta could not be disclosed for security reasons.

The apparent increase in Ukrainian military activity in the south of the country has fueled speculation about a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the spring.
AFP via Getty Images

The Kremlin-appointed head of the Kherson region denied reports that Ukrainian forces had established a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River in an update shared with Telegram Sunday.

Vladimir Saldo insisted that Russian forces were “in full control” of the area before suggesting that the reference photos in the ISW report may have been Ukrainian sabotage units that “managed to take a selfie” across the Dnieper before being forced back.

Ukrainian leaders have long indicated that as soon as the weather improves and the troops are ready, they will try to push the Russian forces out of the south.

In recent months, Kiev has amassed a huge arsenal of tanks and other weaponry from the Western Allies in preparation for the offensive.

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