Government in Kherson Collaborating With Russia Orders the Evacuation of Civilians to Russia

The Russian collaborators who are responsible for governing the Ukraine region of Kherson Oblast that is currently under Russian occupation have instructed a few citizens to make plans to relocate to Russia.

The Russian-appointed head of Ukraine’s Kherson region has announced that the civilian population will be evacuated from part of the region as he warned of an expected escalation of hostilities.

Vladimir Saldo on October 18 announced an “organized, gradual displacement” of civilians from four towns on the right bank of the Dnieper River.

“I made a difficult but correct decision to announce the organized transfer of the civilian population of the Berislav, Belozersky, Snigiryovsky, and Aleksandrovsky municipalities to the left bank of the Dnieper,” Saldo said, adding that “where the military operates, there is no place for civilians.”

In a video statement, Saldo accused Ukrainian forces of planning to destroy a major dam at the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.

A Russian commander in charge of the military, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander as well as “Special Military Operation” commander General Sergei Suvovikin, followed up with a statement that seemed to show he was uncertain about what's to come.

Surovikin said: “Our plans in the city of Kherson will depend on the tactical military situation that is already very uneasy. We will seek to protect the lives of civilians and our service members. We will act in a timely manner, without excluding the most difficult decisions.”

A quick note on the terminology:The left and the right bank refers to the direction of the river's banks when you're facing downstream. The river, in this case, is called the Dneiper and flows from the northeast to the southwest.

On the surface, the evacuation order appears routine. Four towns might not seem worth the trouble. There is more going on here, though. Two towns, Snigiryovsky (circle on top of the map) and Berislav (right circular), are identifiable. A majority of the towns are named after Russian or Ukrainian designations, while a few names are repeated in the same region.

The retreat of Berislav indicates that the northern salient, which was which is held by Russians, is in the process of being taken over, and the defense line will be cut. This is a sensible tactical decision. However, the logic behind the decision to leave a province which was annexed only a few weeks ago may not seem like it is.

It is possible that this is just the beginning of a new wave of evacuations for civilians that will be ordered. The bridges that cross the Dnieper have been closed for several weeks, which has forced supplies brought by barges or via pontoon bridges that don’t last long once discovered. Additionally, the amputation of the Kerch Strait Bridge has severely affected the flow of supplies from Russia. The possibility of a civilian evacuation using the “humanitarian corridor” would let the Russians move lots of their equipment across the river, mixing it with the stream of refugees.

The possibility that the Ukrainians could destroy the Nova Khakova Dam is surprising. If this happens, the Russian posts on the right bank would become inaccessible and their bridge construction is going to be much more challenging because the left bank would be flooding.

The other aspect in the calculation is the fact that there will be a huge impact for the entire population of Crimea since the dam is responsible for Crimea's water supply. 

More will be learned as it develops. 

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