Moscow-appointed authorities have fled the capital of southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, along with tens of thousands of residents, with Ukrainian forces weakening Russia's hold on the city.
Ukraine has pushed ahead with its offensive to reclaim the Kherson region and its capital of the same name, which Russian forces captured during the first month of the war.
More than 70,000 residents from the Kherson city area have evacuated in recent days, the region’s Kremlin-installed governor, Vladimir Saldo, said Thursday.
Members of the Russia-backed regional administration were included in the evacuation, the deputy governor, Kirill Stremousov, said.
Monuments to Russian heroes were also moved, along with the remains of Grigory Potemkin, the Russian general who founded Kherson in the 18th century, which were kept at the city’s St. Catherine’s Church.
Ukrainian forces have surrounded Kherson from the west and are attacking Russia’s foothold on the west bank of the Dnieper River, which divides the region and the country.
Attacks on energy infrastructure
Meanwhile, Russian forces have continued to carry out attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure across the country, which have caused increasing worries ahead of the cold winter period.
A Russian drone attack early Thursday hit an energy facility near the capital, causing a fire, said Kyiv region governor Oleksiy Kuleba.
“The Russians are using drones and missiles to destroy Ukraine’s energy system ahead of the winter and terrorise civilians,” Kuleba said in televised remarks.
Kuleba announced new rolling blackouts and urged consumers to save power. He said authorities were still pondering specifics of the blackouts needed to restore the damaged power facilities.