Kyiv: The new commander of Russian forces in Ukraine made a rare acknowledgment of the pressures they are under from Ukrainian offensives to retake southern and eastern areas that Moscow claims to have annexed just weeks ago.
Russia announced the evacuation of civilians from a key southern Ukrainian city Kherson Tuesday as it acknowledged the situation for its troops on the ground in Ukraine was “tense” in the face of a counter-offensive.
Ukrainian officials, meanwhile, scrambled to rebuild damaged energy facilities across the country following a series of deadly Russian strikes and President Volodymyr Zelensky charged that Moscow’s purported use of Iranian-made drones in the attacks highlighted its “military and political bankruptcy”.
Russian General Sergey Surovikin, who has been in charge of recent operations in Ukraine, said the army was preparing to evacuate civilians from the city of Kherson, which is part of the four regions in Ukraine that Moscow recently claimed to have annexed.Kherson was the first city to fall to Russian forces after the Kremlin launched its invasion on February 24, but Ukrainian troops have been pushing increasingly closer to the city in recent weeks as part of a successful counter-offensive.
Russia captured the city largely unopposed in the early days of the invasion, and it remains the only major Ukrainian city that Moscow’s forces have seized intact.