Russia to take in people fleeing Russian-controlled Kherson region of Ukraine

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – A Russian region adjacent to Ukraine said it was preparing to receive refugees from the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine’s Kherson province, after the region’s Russian-appointed leader proposed on Thursday , as Ukrainian troops advance, residents leave in search of safety. .

Much of the Kherson region was occupied in the first days of the Russian invasion as it sent troops from adjoining Crimea. It was one of four parts of Ukraine that Russia declared as its own last month, a move strongly condemned by the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

However, it has been the scene of significant progress for the Ukrainian army since August.

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In a video statement on Telegram, Vladimir Saldo publicly pleaded for the government to help move civilians to safer areas in Russia.

“Every day, cities in the Kherson region are hit by missiles,” Sardo said.

“Therefore, the leadership of the Kherson government decided to provide Kherson families with the option to travel to other parts of the Russian Federation to rest and study,” he said, adding that people should “leave with their children.”

He said the advice mainly applies to residents on the west bank of the Dnieper — an area that includes the regional capital Kherson.

Residents visit a street market during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the Russian-controlled city of Kherson, Ukraine, on July 26, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

“But at the same time, we advise all residents of the Kherson area, if they so desire, to also go to other areas in order to protect themselves from the consequences of a missile attack.”

Russia’s Rostov state governor Vasily Golubev was quoted by TASS news agency as saying that the first people from Kherson would arrive there on Friday.

“The Rostov region will accept and accommodate all those who want to come to us from the Kherson region,” he said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said people leaving Kherson would be offered free accommodation and essentials, as well as housing if they decide to stay permanently outside Kherson.

Kyiv and the West have accused Russia of merging the four regions into an illegal annexation, as it did in Crimea, which Russia occupied in 2014. At the United Nations General Assembly, 143 of 193 countries condemned the practice in Wednesday’s vote.

Ukrainian authorities say hundreds of thousands of Kherson’s residents have fled, mostly to uninhabited parts of Ukraine that include half of the region’s capital’s pre-war population.

Any major territorial loss in Kherson would limit Russia’s access to the farther south Crimea peninsula, a return to which Kyiv has coveted since 2014.

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Reporting in Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Mark Trevelyan and Sandra Maler

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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