Frontline Russian city urges militia enrollment
Men who refuse to leave Kherson should take up arms to defend it, authorities say
Authorities in Kherson have reiterated calls for civilians to leave the city ahead of possible battles with Ukrainian forces. Men who refuse to relocate have the option to enroll in territorial defense forces, a statement added on Monday.
The city, which is located on the western bank of the Dnieper River, has been moving residents eastwards to other parts of Kherson Region and other Russian provinces over the looming threat of Ukrainian military action.
Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the region’s government, said in a Monday morning update that people “are gradually leaving the city to let the military do their job.”
The official reported an overnight attempt to break through Russian defenses near the Ingulets River, a Dnieper tributary. He also claimed that an entire Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage team had been captured.
Kherson Region joined Russia earlier this month, after people there voted in a referendum, and overwhelmingly supported the move. Kiev refused to recognize the outcome, calling it a “sham,” and pledged to recapture the territory.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed last week that Russia was going to blow up the dam at the Kakhovskaya hydropower plant which is upstream from Kherson, causing the city and other settlements to be flooded.
However Russian officials said Ukrainian forces sought to destroy the dam with artillery fire to disrupt life in the provincial capital and military logistics. If they succeed, thousands may drown, Russia’s UN envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, warned last Friday.