Pro-Russian authorities in Jerson have completed the evacuation of 80,000 civilians in the face of the Ukrainian advance
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu appeared this Friday in a television video informing President Vladimir Putin that the task of recruiting 300,000 reservists to reinforce the Russian war device in Ukraine has already been completed. “The task of recruiting 300,000 citizens set by you has been completed. No additional actions are planned. The military commissariats, within the framework of the special military operation, will continue to recruit troops, but only accept volunteers or candidates who have completed military service under contract,” Shoigu told Putin.
The minister specified that “218,000 mobilized are undergoing training in training camps, 82,000 have been sent to the special operations area, of which more than 41,000 are already operating within the military units deployed in Ukraine.” Putin decreed the “partial mobilization” of reservists on September 21 with the stated goal, according to Shoigu, of recruiting 300,000 troops.
Later, on October 14, the Russian president stated that “within the next two weeks, all mobilization activities will be completed” and assured that it would not be extended for any longer for now. Successful Ukrainian counteroffensives in Kharkov, Kherson and part of Donetsk put the Russian Army on the ropes. Hence the urgent need to mobilize to increase the number of troops. The move caused a mass flight of Russians abroad to avoid being sent to the front.
Meanwhile, the deputy head of the pro-Russian administration of the Kherson region, Kirill Stremoúsov, and the governor of the annexed Crimea, Sergei Axionov, announced that the evacuation of civilians from the city of Kherson, the main administrative center of the province, was over of finalizing. Promoted by Moscow, the exodus of the population began last October 18 and according to Vladimir Saldo, the puppet that the Kremlin has put in front of this territory, annexed last September 30 along with Donetsk, Lugansk and neighboring Zaporiyia, of the whole part of Jershon situated on the right bank of the Dnieper river have turned out in recent days some 80,000 people.
Most of them have simply crossed the river, to areas further south and closer to Crimea, and others, it seems, have moved to the peninsula itself or to points further inland from Russia. “I am glad that everyone was able to quickly and safely leave the territory that is being shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Axyonov wrote on his Telegram channel.
The person in charge of Crimea has been in charge of supervising the evacuation together with the first deputy head of the Kremlin Administration, Sergei Kiriyenko. Both have also just been to the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, on the eve of another visit by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This time with the task of verifying if Ukraine is really manufacturing a “dirty bomb”, a device made up of highly radioactive nuclear waste and a conventional explosive.
However, according to the Russian publication Meduza, the city of Jershon is far from being completely abandoned by civilians. So assures Seguéi Jlan, adviser to the head of the regional military administration of Jersón, who in statements to Meduza has claimed that “the occupation authorities have moved their headquarters to Guenichesk” , a population located 165 kilometers south of the city of Jerson, almost on the border with Crimea.
But, according to Jlan, “the majority of the residents of Kherson are still in the city awaiting the arrival of the Ukrainian troops”, something that the Russian Army and the local pro-Russian militias expect to happen at any moment. Hence the preparations to resist the kyiv counter-offensive in what is predicted to be a great urban battle.
The deputy head of the region’s administration, Ekaterina Gubareva, maintains that fortifications are being built in Kherson and its surroundings in the face of the foreseeable advance of the Ukrainian troops. In her words, “the first floors of buildings are being reinforced and fortifications are being erected with sandbags to defend themselves and repel attacks within the city.” In addition, the creation of “territorial defense” militias in the style of those already in operation for more than eight years in Donetsk and Lugansk began on Monday.