A Kyiv-appointed official in Ukraine’s Kherson region that Moscow claims to have annexed said Wednesday that the announced evacuation of civilians from the region’s eponymous main city was the equivalent of deportation.
“We see that the evacuation announced in Kherson is equal to deportation. Its purpose is to create a kind of panic in Kherson and a propaganda picture,” Sergiy Khlan, the deputy head of the Kherson region, said during a press conference.
He added that the recommended list of things to pack for the evacuees “is a one-way trip list”, adding that they were going to Russia’s southern Krasnodar region not the neighbouring Crimea peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
“Russia is carrying out deportations as in Soviet times,” he said.
Pro-Kremlin officials in Kherson said Wednesday they were pulling out of the key southern Ukraine city and organising the movement of civilians from Kherson amid an advancing Ukrainian counteroffensive.
According to Khlan, the Kremlin proxies were moving their base to Genichesk, a port city on the Sea of Azov, where they will organise their “new capital”.
“The decision of the occupiers to leave the right bank of Kherson is related with the consistent actions of our Armed Forces,” Khlan said.