Ukraine war: Kherson counter offensive - has Russia actually pulled out of Black Sea city?

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Ukraine is preparing to mount a counter-offensive to regain ground in the city which has been at the centre of the war since February

Russian forces have been evacuating the annexed city of Kherson city amid warnings of a Ukrainian counter offensive.

Kherson has been at the centre of the conflict for around a week now. Russia has warned of a heavy-handed Ukrainian counter-offensive, despite the country denying that it would attack its own citizens.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Kremlin has even accused Ukraine of attempting to use a dirty bomb in a false-flag operation. However, their accusations have been disputed by the West.

Here’s everything you need to know about what is currently happening in Kherson.

A Ukrainian counter offensive is expected in Kherson as the country prepares to regain the city. (Credit: Getty Images)A Ukrainian counter offensive is expected in Kherson as the country prepares to regain the city. (Credit: Getty Images)
A Ukrainian counter offensive is expected in Kherson as the country prepares to regain the city. (Credit: Getty Images) | Getty Images

What is happening in Kherson?

The city, which has been at the centre of a battle since the start of the war, was one included in one of the four areas Russia formally annexed weeks ago. Russian troops then moved into the region.

The Ukrainian forces are mounting a counter-offensive in the region, as the country attempts to regain ground from Russian forces. However, it might be a tough fight, with the Ukrainian defence minister saying that poor weather has affected the country’s plans.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "First of all, the south of Ukraine is an agricultural region, and we have a lot of irrigation and water supply channels, and the Russians use them like trenches. It’s more convenient for them.

"The second reason is weather conditions. This is the rainy season, and it’s very difficult to use fighting carrier vehicles with wheels," he said, adding that this reduced the options for Ukraine’s armed forces. The counter-offensive campaign in the Kherson direction is more difficult than in the Kharkiv direction."

It comes after Russian forces ordered the evacuation of Kherson residents amid the counter-offensive. Around 60,0000 residents were instructed to evacuate the city to Russian areas, however Ukraine told residents not to follow through with the forced evacuations further into Russian-held areas, stating that it would not put its own civilians in danger.

Putin has once again ordered the immediate evacuation of civilians from Kherson as Russian troops prepare to dig in for a fierce battle for the city. He said: “Now, of course, those who live in Kherson should be removed from the zone of the most dangerous actions, because the civilian population should not suffer.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Russian-installed deputy governor of Kherson, Kirill Stremousov, has also put a 24-hour curfew in place. Speaking on social media platform Telegram, he said that the curfew would be in place to “defend our city of Kherson” from “terrorist attacks”.

Has Russia withdrawn from Kherson?

Russian troops have moved large numbers of sick and wounded comrades from hospitals in southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, Ukrainian military officials said as Kyiv’s forces fight to retake a province that was overrun early in the war.

The Moscow-appointed authorities were reported to have abandoned the city, joining tens of thousands of residents who fled to other Russia-held areas ahead of an expected advance by Ukrainian forces.

“The so-called evacuation of invaders from the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region, including from medical institutions, continues,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a morning update.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“All equipment and medicines are being removed from Kherson hospitals.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky onscreen as he remotely addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City 21 September 2022 (Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky onscreen as he remotely addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City 21 September 2022 (Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky onscreen as he remotely addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City 21 September 2022 (Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address on Friday that the Russians were “dismantling the entire health care system” in Kherson and other occupied areas.

“The occupiers have decided to close medical institutions in the cities, take away equipment, ambulances, just everything,” he said.

“They put pressure on the doctors who still remained in the occupied areas for them to move to the territory of Russia.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Th country has also accused Ukraine of planning to use a ‘dirty bomb’ in the conflict. Ukraine has denied this, and the West, including the US, UK and the EU, have also rubbished the claims.

Experts have theorised that Russia may be planting seeds of potentially using these types of weapons itself. However, many - including the US-based Institute for the Study of War - have said that it is more likely an attempt to de-legitamise Ukraine’s support from the West.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.