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Day 238: New Russian Commander in Ukraine Announces Kherson Evacuations Amid 'Tense' Situation in Region

    Day 238: New Russian Commander in Ukraine Announces Kherson Evacuations Amid 'Tense' Situation in Region
    Updated Oct 19, 2022
    Image credit: AP Photos [via The Guardian]

    Facts

    • In his first televised comments since being appointed the new commander of Russia's forces in Ukraine, Gen. Sergei Surovikin on Tuesday stated that his troops would assist in evacuating residents of the Kherson region. The announcement comes amid growing suspicion that Ukrainian forces are poised to launch a counterattack in an attempt to retake the territory.[1]
    • Surovikin described the current military situation as "tense," stating: "The enemy continually attempts to attack the positions of Russian troops." He added: "Further actions and plans regarding the city of Kherson will depend on the developing military-tactical situation, which is not easy. We will act consciously, in a timely manner, without ruling out difficult decisions."[1]
    • On Wednesday, Moscow-appointed acting governor of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, confirmed the plans and said authorities are aiming to resettle 50-60K residents from the area.[2]
    • Meanwhile, Vladimir Rogov, a Russia-appointed official in the Zaporizhzhia region, alleged that Ukrainian forces have attempted a river crossing with 30 boats to Enerhodar with the aim of retaking the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Rogov said the assault force was repelled, but his claims of an attack could not be independently confirmed.[3]
    • Zaporizhzhia faced fresh strikes on Wednesday, as Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure continued. Dnipropetrovsk was also targeted — eight civilians were reported injured in the region.[4]
    • Elsewhere, in an address to the European Parliament on Wednesday, European Commission Pres. Ursula von der Leyen described Russia's attacks on energy infrastructure as "war crimes." She said: "Targeted attacks on civilian infrastructure with the clear aim to cut off men, women, children of water, electricity and heating with the winter coming, these are acts of pure terror."[5]

    Spin

    Anti-Russia narrative

    Amid the prospect of further humiliation and defeat at the hands of the Ukrainian military, Russia is now planning to forcibly deport the residents of Kherson. This is an illegal and desperate attempt to cement Moscow's shaky territorial gains by repopulating the region with soldiers and traitors.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    These are voluntary evacuations intended to protect the residents of Kherson from Ukrainian attacks. Kyiv's missile strikes on the Kakhovka hyropower plant have already put the region at serious risk of flooding - Russian forces are now aiding humanitarian interests by offering evacuation free of charge.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Ukraine will regain control of Kherson by Dec. 30, 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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