Day 255: Putin Urges Kherson Residents to Evacuate as Region Braces for Escalation of Fighting

Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin has urged the remaining residents of Kherson to evacuate as the region is reportedly set for a sharp escalation of fighting in the coming weeks and months.

Day 255: Putin Urges Kherson Residents to Evacuate as Region Braces for Escalation of Fighting
Image credit: TASS

Facts

  • Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin has urged the remaining residents of Kherson to evacuate as the region is reportedly set for a sharp escalation of fighting in the coming weeks and months.
  • Speaking on Friday, Putin said: "Now it is, of course, necessary to relocate those who live in Kherson from the most dangerous zone because civilians should not suffer from bombardments, from some offensive, counter-offensive and other measures related to military activities."
  • Earlier in the week, the Russian flag was reportedly taken down from administrative buildings in the region, and Russia-appointed officials indicated their forces might relocate to positions on the east bank of the Dnieper River. However, Ukrainian officials warned this could be a trap "in order to create the impression that the settlements are abandoned, that it is safe to enter them, while they are preparing for street battles."
  • Meanwhile, Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Saturday that 28 ships carrying more than 800k tonnes of food have left for Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Oman, Turkey, China, and Ethiopia since Russia rejoined the Black Sea grain deal on Wednesday — a development that Zelenskyy called "one of the most significant international results of the entire autumn."
  • Elsewhere, according to a report in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, there was an assassination attempt on a supreme court justice from the Donetsk People's Republic on Friday. Judge Alexander Nikulin was reportedly shot in the city of Vuhlehirsk and is said to be in critical condition.
  • As heavy battles continued in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian officials said three civilians were killed, and eight more were injured from Russian attacks in the last 24 hours. Russian attacks were also recorded in the regions of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Vinnytsia, with no reports of civilian casualties at this stage.

Sources: Tass, Al Jazeera, CNN, Novayagazeta, and Ukrinform.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by NY Post. As Russia continues to bomb Ukraine and bring misery to its civilians, the only answer to Putin's unchecked aggression is to keep supporting Ukraine militarily for as long as it takes.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Tass. The West continues to pursue the wrong policy of pumping Ukraine with weapons, thinking the situation can be resolved on the battlefield. Ukraine's backers need to push for a negotiated settlement instead.

Predictions