ER Editor: Here’s a two-fer from RT and Zerohedge. Below is a map of the Kakhovka power plant upstream in relation to the city of Kherson. The dam, which may be blown up according to reports below, lies adjacent to the power plant.
Southfront.org has this to say on the situation around Kherson:
In the Kherson region, artillery duels continue. The Ukrainian military attacks with small forces up to a company in strength, in the range of 80 to 250 men per attack. The northern front lines, where Ukrainians are trying to advance to Berislav, remain the main battlefield in the region. On November 1, the deputy head of the Governor of the Kherson region claimed that Ukraine lost about 70 servicemen in the recent attempt of offensive in the area. Ukrainian attacks on the western front lines of the region were also unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, the evacuation of civilians to the eastern bank of the Dnieper river continues. The evacuation zone was expanded to 15 km extending from the eastern bank. People are leaving a number of cities on the eastern bank, including Kakhovka, Novaya Kakhovka and Golaya Pristan. The decision was taken due to the risk of Ukrainian attacks on the Kakhovskaya dam and the danger of flooding of coastal areas. The evacuation will also allow the Russian military to create a layered defense along the river. So far, Russian servicemen have not left their positions on the front lines. The Ukrainians have already attempted a large-scale offensive immediately after the evacuation was announced, but suffered heavy losses. Now they are acting more cautiously and are not rushing to attack despite the Russian signals on their alleged retreat across the Dnieper river.
See this latest report from Readovka (browsers will translate), Ukrainian nationalists attacked the administration building in the Kherson region.
Russia expands relocation from Kherson
Official warns that Ukraine may destroy a dam, endangering the lives of the local population
Russian authorities have expanded the relocation of civilians from frontline areas in Kherson Region to include a 15-kilometer (9.3 mile) zone on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River, acting regional governor, Vladimir Saldo, announced on Monday.
People will be relocated to parts of Kherson away from the frontline or moved to other Russian regions.
Saldo explained that the urgent measure will help shield civilians from Kiev’s “banned methods of war” and the risk that Ukrainian troops may fire missiles at a dam at the Kakhovka hydropower plant that is upstream from Kherson, causing a flood. He added that the move will also help to better defend the area from a Ukrainian offensive from the north.
“The Russian army should carry out its task without creating a threat to the civilian population. Our absolute priority is the safety of the people,” Saldo said.
The region to the north of Crimea, together with three other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia after a referendum in late September.
Authorities began relocating civilians last month and urged able-bodied men to enlist in the local territorial defense force as Ukrainian troops advanced. Saldo told the Soloviev Live podcast on Tuesday that they had shot down 18 missiles that were launched at Kherson, while work is underway to reinforce defenses on the ground.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky earlier accused Russia of rigging the Kakhovka dam and the plant’s machinery with explosives. Kirill Stremousov, a senior Kherson official, rejected Zelensky’s claims at the time as “lies.”
Russia Preparing To Move 70,000 Civilians From Kherson Region
Russia is preparing to order a “compulsory” transfer of tens of thousands of residents in the Kherson region as the fight for the south heats up. This could involve as many as 70,000 civilians in what would mark a large-scale Russian withdrawal from the occupied Ukrainian city.
(ER: ‘Russian withdrawal’? The residents of the Kherson region voted to become part of the Russian Federation recently, along with residents of three other regions. Evacuation of residents is not a military ‘withdrawal’.)
Citing Russian officials, The Wall Street Journal reports that “starting Sunday they would begin relocating residents from the Kakhovsky district on the east bank of the Dnipro River due to what they claim is the possibility of a Ukrainian attack on a strategic dam nearby.” Already evacuations have been ongoing for weeks from the city as fighting and heavy shelling encroach.
And the pro-Russian governor of Kherson Volodymyr Saldo confirmed preparations for a mandated evacuation ahead of advancing Ukrainian forces, which a Russian decree said will be “in a compulsory manner.” Russian officials say this is necessary because Ukraine forces are plotting a “massive missile strike on the Kakhovka hydroelectric station” to flood Kherson.
Ukraine has denied these plans of course, and has in turn accused the Russian side of essentially using the large civilian transfer as one big “human shield”:
“They want to create the impression that this is a civilian evacuation. Surrounded by civilians they understand that they have a degree of safety,” said a spokeswoman for the southern command of Ukraine’s armed forces.
They say Russian military vehicles are intentionally mixing with civilian convoys as they exit the region.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian media sources are touting that the national armed forces have conducted at least 100 firing missions on Wednesday, conducted by artillery and missile units.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine struck an extremely successful blow on the occupiers in Kherson, hitting the air defense systems at Spartak stadium, which were used to attack Mykolaiv,” a statement from an official with Ukraine’s Kherson Regional Council said on Facebook.
A report this week in the Associated Press said that many among the recently mobilized Russian recruits have been sent to Kherson front lines, despite official denials from the Kremlin.