Ukraine: Russia says it has finished evacuating civilians from occupied Kherson region

Ukraine: Russia says finished evacuating civilians from region occupied Kherson

DAY

The evacuation of civilians from the Russian-occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine, which is facing a Ukrainian offensive, has been completed, a pro-Russian official announced. 

“The work organizing the departure of the inhabitants of the left bank of the (river) Dnipro towards safe regions in Russia is completed”, declared Thursday evening Sergei Aksionov, the leader of Crimea, neighboring peninsula of Kherson annexed in 2014 by Moscow.

Ukraine, which is leading an offensive in the region after inflicting serious setbacks on Russian forces on other fronts, refers to these population transfers as “deportations”.

“I am happy that those who wanted to quickly and safely leave the territory bombarded by the Ukrainian armed forces were able to do so,” Mr. Aksionov said on Telegram, posting a photo alongside the deputy director of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Kiriyenko.

On Wednesday, a Russian occupation official in Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, claimed that at least 70,000 residents had left their homes in the area in less than a week .

The Ukrainian military command noted in its daily report for the past 24 hours published on Friday that “the so-called +evacuation+ from the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region continues”.

He noted a “strengthening of the enemy group on the right bank part” of the Kherson region.

Mr. Aksionov also said that he visited with Mr. Kirienko the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, occupied by Russia and repeatedly targeted by dangerous bombardments for which Moscow and kyiv deny responsibility.

The two men “met with the personnel and assessed the situation in the area of ​​the power plant,” according to Mr. Aksionov.