Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly endorsed the evacuation of civilians from parts of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, amid conflicting reports of a curfew being imposed in the Russian-controlled area.

Russia could be preparing to abandon its military foothold on the west bank of the Dnieper River, including Kherson’s regional capital, in what would be one of the biggest Russian retreats of the war.

Kherson, a city with a population of about 284,000 people before the conflict, is the only big city Russia has captured intact since its invasion in February. The surrounding province controls land access to Russian-occupied Crimea and securing it was one of the few successes of an otherwise disastrous Russian campaign.

Kherson, a city with a population of about 284,000 people before the conflict, is the only big city Russia has captured intact since its invasion in February. The surrounding province controls land access to Russian-occupied Crimea and securing it was one of the few successes of an otherwise disastrous Russian campaign.

Ukraine said the evacuations include the forced relocation of civilians, a war crime, which Moscow denies.
Credit: Aljazeera

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