Day 233: Russia to Evacuate Citizens from Annexed Kherson Region; Ukraine Strikes Russia's Belgorod Region

Russian deputy prime minister Marat Khusnullin said on Thursday that the country's government would assist residents of the recently annexed Kherson region in southern Ukraine to evacuate "to other regions of the country," after a plea from a Russian-appointed official in the region.

Day 233: Russia to Evacuate Citizens from Annexed Kherson Region; Ukraine Strikes Russia's Belgorod Region
Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • Russian deputy prime minister Marat Khusnullin said on Thursday that the country's government would assist residents of the recently annexed Kherson region in southern Ukraine to evacuate "to other regions of the country," after a plea from a Russian-appointed official in the region.
  • Vladimir Saldo, a former mayor of Kherson city and now Russia's head of the wider region, called on the Russian government to help relocate residents who he said were in danger from increased Ukrainian shelling. Saldo's current role means he is wanted for treason by Ukrainian officials.
  • Meanwhile, Russian officials in the border region of Belgorod, which has frequently come under Ukrainian attack, said Ukrainian missiles struck an ammunition depot in the village of Oktyabrsky, killing and injuring an unspecified number of people. Debris from the activation of missile defenses reportedly fell near a railroad, bringing disruption to local train services.
  • In the meantime, Russian attacks were reported in the region of Dnipropetrovsk, injuring one civilian, and the cities of Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv, with no reports of civilian injuries at this stage. The death toll from a Thursday attack on Mykolaiv has risen to seven, Ukrainian officials said.
  • Elsewhere, according to a CNN report, Elon Musk's SpaceX has written has written to the US Dept. of Defense stating it's not in a position to donate further Starlink satellite internet terminals, nor fund the indefinite use of existing terminals. Starlink technology is used by Ukraine's armed forces to communicate in the face of disruption to traditional phone and internet networks.
  • According to Musk, donation of the services has so far cost SpaceX $80M and costs will exceed $100M by the end of the year. According to the CNN report, SpaceX has asked the Pentagon to foot the bill if it's to continue providing the service.

Sources: Guardian, Pravda, and CNN.

Narratives

  • Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by Al Jazeera. While Ukraine's counteroffensive continues to press on, Russia's decision to evacuate residents from Kherson reveals that Moscow's hold on territories it claims to have annexed is weakening.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. The decision to help evacuate residents of Kherson is simply about saving lives - the announcement does not mean Russia is planning a mass evacuation from the territory, nor that Russian forces have plans to retreat.

Predictions