KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s deputy prime minister on Sunday urged civilians within the Russian-occupied southern area of Kherson to urgently evacuate as Ukraine’s armed forces have been getting ready a counter-attack there.
Ukraine misplaced management of many of the Black Sea area of Kherson, together with its eponymous capital, within the first weeks after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
“It’s clear there can be preventing, there can be artillery shelling… and we subsequently urge (individuals) to evacuate urgently,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk mentioned on nationwide tv.
She mentioned she couldn’t say when precisely the counter-offensive would occur.
“I do know for certain that there shouldn’t be girls and youngsters there, and that they need to not develop into human shields,” she mentioned.
Kherson’s Russian-installed authorities say they need to maintain a referendum on seceding to Russia, however they haven’t but set a date. The Kremlin says the way forward for the area must be decided by its residents.
The Kherson area contains the town of Kherson, which earlier than the battle had a inhabitants of almost 300,000. It will not be identified how lots of the metropolis’s residents are nonetheless there.
(Reporting by Max Hunder; Editing by Tom Balmforth and Frances Kerry)