Russia Raises Fears of Renewed Kherson Fighting With Evacuation Announcement

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin meeting with President Vladimir Putin

Russia has announced it an evacuation of the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson after an appeal from the Russian-installed head of the region, raising fears of renewed fighting in the south Ukrainian city.

Marat Khusnullin, a Russian deputy prime minister, announced on state television that residents would be helped to move away from the region, which was occupied by Russian troops shortly after the February 24th invasion but is now only partially under their control following a successful Ukrainian counterattack.

“The government took the decision to organize assistance for the departure of residents of the region to other regions of the country,” Khusnullin said, indicating that evacuees may be relocated to undisputed Russian territory.

The decision came following a public request from Vladimir Saldo, a former mayor of the city who was installed as head of the region in April by Russian forces.

Saldo, who has been charged with treason by Ukrainian prosecutors, had called on Vladimir Putin to assist those who wished to flee the fighting, claiming that Ukrainian attacks were endangering the lives of locals.

Saldo, who was mayor of Kherson city between 2002 and 2012, said: “I want to ask you 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.”