Ukraine’s counteroffensive in Kherson has intensified, according to a senior official in the southern region’s Russian-backed administration.
“Indeed, the active phase of fighting, which we expected, has begun,” Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head in Kherson said on Saturday, while speaking to the pro-Kremlin “Soloviev Live” show.
He added the “(Russian) army is ready to repel all these attacks and stand to the end, because Kherson region is part of the Russian Federation.”
According to Stremousov, the goal of the Ukraine forces is to gain a foothold on the right bank of the Dnipro river. He urged residents in the area to “seize the moment, call the hotline, pick up the children and send them on vacation.”
On Thursday, the Russian-appointed head of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, asked the Russian leadership to help evacuate locals to other regions in order to protect them from missile strikes.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive: Ukrainian forces have been making steady progress in the region since beginning an offensive at the end of last month.
Last week, the Ukrainian military said it has recaptured 2,400 square kilometers (about 925 square miles) of territory in Kherson region “since the beginning of the full-scale war,” a senior Ukrainian official said on October 7.
Moscow announced evacuations of occupied areas, with Russia’s Rostov region set to receive Kherson residents.