The Financial Times reported that western mili.tary officials say Ukraine could liberate the southern Kherson province from Russian control as soon as next week.
“We believe that the Russian position (in Kherson) is extremely fragile,” the official said with Financial Times and assumed that the Russian army is vulnerable in the right flank.
The comments came as the Russian Defense Ministry admitted that Ukrainian forces had broken through Russia’s frontline in Kherson earlier this month, marking Ukraine’s most significant advance on the southern front since the conflict started in February. Since then, Kiev has recaptured significant territory west of the Dnipro River.
Ukraine’s Southern Operations Command said it had liberated five more settlements in the Kherson region from Russian control and destroyed an enemy command and control center on October 13.
Faced with the tense war situation, the Kremlin-picked leader of the Kherson province asked the Kremlin to evacuate civilians.
“Every day, the cities of the Kherson region are subjected to mis.sile att.acks,” Vladimir Saldo said, adding that’s why “the leadership of the Kherson administration has decided to provide Kherson families with the option to travel to other regions of the Russian Federation to rest and study.”
“We suggested that all residents of the Kherson region, if they desire to protect themselves from the consequences of miss.ile str.ikes…go to other regions,” Saldo said, pointing to Crimea, the Rostov region, Krasnodar Territory, and Stavropol Territory as possible destinations.
“Take your children and leave,” he urged.
Kherson is one of four Ukrainian regions, including Donetsk, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia. Ukrainian President Zelensky claimed to have regained dozens of Kherson settlements since October and was closer to liberating the area.
Kherson is the only regional capital seized by Russia on the western bank of the Dnieper River and whose capture was the Kremlin’s greatest success at the beginning of the war.
After a few days of caution, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Tuesday night that troops were making “quite fast and significant” advances in the south.
According to the circulating videos, the Ukrainian army is not meeting excessive resistance from the Russians. With such a level of resistance, the Ukrainian army may soon liberate Kherson.