Kyiv Says Russia Is Taking Ukrainians as Its Military Flees Kherson


An older woman walks in the Kherson region village of Arkhanhelske on November 3, 2022, which was formerly occupied by Russian forces. Ukraine says that Russia is deporting Ukrainians as its military flees.BULENT KILIC/GETTY IMAGES

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry is accusing Russia of forcibly relocating Ukrainians in regions in the country’s occupied south as the Russian military pulls back in the area.

The ministry issued a statement Thursday condemning what it called the deportation of Ukrainian citizens in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Ukrainian officials and human rights groups have raised alarm over reports of Ukraine‘s citizens being deported against their will to Russia during the war. But Kremlin-backed officials instead said they’ve evacuated Kherson, a region of which Russia earlier claimed control, out of concerns for civilian safety.

The forced relocations are occurring on the east bank of the Dnieper River in Kherson’s Skadovsky and Kakhovsky districts near other Russian-occupied territories, according to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry. Russian authorities are carrying out similar deportations in the Zaporizhzhia region, roughly 200 miles to the northeast, the ministry said.

Elsewhere, the ministry said Ukrainian citizens were being deported in the occupied regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, as well as in Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

“The deportation of residents of the temporarily occupied south is accompanied by looting by the Russian occupiers of industrial, infrastructural, cultural, educational and medical institutions, as well as private houses and apartments,” the ministry said in its statement.

The ministry’s alarm about involuntary deportations comes amid signs Ukraine’s counteroffensive is succeeding in pushing Russian troops out of Kherson. Yuriy Sobolevskyi, the Ukrainian-recognized deputy head of Kherson’s regional council, posted a photo on his Telegram channel earlier Thursday, showing that the Russian flag was no longer flying over the region’s administrative building.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a press conference Thursday that Ukrainian forces are capable of securing the remaining territory of the Dnieper River.

“We’ve seen them in getting to a very methodical, but effective, effort to take back their sovereign territory,” said Austin. “I’ll think you’ll see them continue to press until they secure the territory on the west side of the river.”

Kirill Stremousov, the Kremlin-installed deputy head of the region, said on a Russian talk show that Russian troops were moving to the east bank. Stremousov also said that Russian forces had repelled advances by Ukrainian troops in the Kherson region, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

Vladimir Saldo, the Kremlin-backed acting governor of the Kherson region, said in a Telegram post Thursday that Ukrainian forces were attempting to stymy the evacuation of civilians from the war-torn area.

“Evacuation from dangerous areas will continue, all residents whose lives are endangered by the Kyiv regime, we will take to safe places,” he said.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.


  1. “Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry is accusing Russia of forcibly relocating Ukrainians in regions in the country’s occupied south as the Russian military pulls back in the area.”

    Now the cockroaches are fleeing again! What is going on?

    Liked by 5 people

    • I trust the UA generals but I think if the best Moskali fighters are in Kherson every measure possible should be taken to eliminate them and send them to the concert in hell so they can’t return or train anyone else with their evil war craft.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I cannot imagine them fleeing from Kherson, although militarily speaking this would be the wisest choice to do. But, we know about ruskie “wisdom”. It doesn’t exist. The best case scenario is to have their best troops sitting in the city and UA forces surrounding it – of course, keeping tight control over the river – and sitting tight until the cockroaches resort to frying rats over their campfires.

        Liked by 3 people

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