“One of the most senior Russian-appointed officials in occupied Ukraine said the Ukrainian army was poised to begin an attempt to retake the southern city of Kherson and urged residents to evacuate for their safety.
Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the local Russia-backed administration, made a video appeal after Russian forces in the area were driven back by 20-30 km (13-20 miles) in the last few weeks. They risk being pinned against the western bank of the 2,200-km-long Dnipro river that bisects Ukraine.
Eight months after being invaded, Ukraine is prosecuting major counter-offensives in the east and south to try to take as much territory as it can before winter.
Kherson is the biggest population center seized by Moscow in what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine since it began on Feb. 24. The city is on territory which President Vladimir Putin says is now formally incorporated into Russia, a move Ukraine and the West do not recognize.
The conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverized Ukrainian cities, shaken the global economy and revived Cold War-era geopolitical fissures.
Stremousov said Kherson and especially its right bank could be shelled by Ukrainian forces, adding that residents who left would be given accommodation inside Russia.
“I ask you to take my words seriously and to interpret them as a call to evacuate as fast as you possibly can,” he said.””
Comment: It sounds like the program is moving along well, in spite of all the Russian IO BS about the “darkened sky.” pl