The IAEA found no evidence of a “dirty bomb” in Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier talks to a civilian in the border town of Kherson, outside Mykolaiv, on October 31, 2022. (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)

The situation in the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson is unclear after a senior Russian-appointed official said Russian troops would “most likely” withdraw soon.

Ukrainian officials have confirmed a video on social media showing the removal of the Russian flag from the main administrative building in the city of Kherson.

Yurii Sobolevskyi, deputy head of the Kherson regional council, said on Telegram that there is no longer a Russian flag in the local administration.

“The photo was taken today. Mysterious disappearance of you know what…” he said.

However, a Russian journalist in the city said: “I was driving through Kherson. I don’t know why the Russian flag disappeared above the old Kherson region government building, but it’s not a systematic phenomenon.”

The journalist said the Russian flag was “hanging over other administrative buildings and educational institutions”, posting a video from different locations.

A senior Russian-appointed official in Kherson gave mixed messages about the situation in the city, Ukraine’s only regional capital under Russian control.

Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-appointed deputy head of the Kherson region’s military administration, said on Russian television Thursday that it was “most likely” that Russian forces would leave the western bank of the Dnieper River, where the city is located. .

But he did not specify a time frame for such a withdrawal, and there were no signs of significant Russian troop movements in the West Bank. Stremousov said on Telegram: “The situation remains stable. For now, everything is fine in the city. Living conditions in the city are normal. Nothing has changed on the front line so far.”

However, Stremousov again called on civilians to move to the east coast.

The Ukrainian military says fighting continues around Beryslav, upstream from the city of Kherson.

“The Russian army continues its rocket and artillery attacks on peaceful settlements in the Beryslav district. During the past day, the occupiers fired 20 times from MLRS “Grad” at the recently liberated Tryfonivka,” according to the South Operational Command.

It is also stated that the occupation authorities “temporarily prohibited the movement of civilian vehicles across the Dnieper River”.

Ukrainian forces this week stepped up attacks on critical supply centers for Russians in the Khershon region, with new attacks on Nova Kakhovka and pontoon bridges crossing the Dnipro River near the city of Khershon. Images geolocated by CNN on Thursday show wrecked ships on the coast near the town of Jerson.

Ukrainian forces also attacked an administrative building on the eastern shore of Hola Pristan.

Stremousov confirmed the attack, saying that “no one was injured during the shelling, as was the case during the night. But the administration building of Hola Prystan was completely destroyed.”

Russian forces are securing an area on the east coast, which stretches 15 to 20 kilometers downstream from Nova Kakhovka.

Russian-appointed authorities reiterated on Thursday that “temporary evacuation of civilians from all settlements in a 15-kilometer zone of the eastern bank of the Dnieper is being carried out. This measure is necessary to ensure the safety of all our citizens.” to the increased danger of massive rocket-artillery attacks and planned terrorist attacks, which is confirmed by the attack on the civil administration building this Thursday. [en Hola Prystan].

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