As Ukrainian forces make further advances into Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo the Russian-backed governor, told people to take their children and flee. He said the cities of Kherson region are subjected to missile attacks every day.
Saldo said the leadership of Kherson administration decided to provide Kherson families with the option to travel to other regions of the Russian Federation to rest and study. "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." He advised people to leave with their children.
However, Saldo's deputy, Kirill Stremousov denied any such plan for evacuation. He said there is and can be no evacuation in Kherson region. "Nobody is planning to withdraw Russian troops from the Kherson region."
Residents to be Helped to Move Out
Russian deputy prime minister Marat Khusnullin told state television on Thursday that residents would be helped to move away from the region in south Ukraine. He said the government took the decision to organize assistance for the departure of residents of the Kherson region to other regions of the country.
There was also a public request by Vladimir Saldo, who was installed in April by Russian forces as head of the wider Kherson region, on social media platform Telegram. He called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to help those who wished to flee the fighting. Saldo claimed that Ukrainian attacks was endangering the lives of locals. "I want to ask you the Russian leadership for help in organizing such work. We, residents of the Kherson region, certainly know that Russia does not abandon its own, and Russia always lends a shoulder where it is difficult."
No Mass Evacuation
Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the Kherson regional military-civilian administration, told TASS that Saldo's ask for help to take people to some other regions of the country doesn't mean the region plans a mass evacuation. He reiterated that there is no evacuation.
"Russia's regions used to help us. There's now an appeal to the country's government by the acting governor related to the increased frequency of shelling of not only Kherson, but also the Berislav district and other districts of the Kherson region for a temporary relocation to the Crimean Republic and the Rostov, Krasnodar and Stavropol regions," Stremousov said.
"What matters today is saving people's lives because shelling continues. But nobody is retreating, evacuating, or going to leave the territory of the Kherson region."
Russia Annexed Kherson Last Month
Kherson is one of the four partly occupied Ukrainian regions that Russia proclaimed as its own only last month. Ukrainian forces, since August, have made major advances. Russia-installed officials said Ukraine's military had recaptured some settlements. The Russian Defense Ministry admitted that Ukraine, with superior tank units, managed to penetrate into the depths of Russian defense. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on Sunday, said Ukrainian forces in Kherson had liberated the settlements of Arkhanhelske and Myroliubivka.