GENICHESK, January 20. /TASS/. The evacuation of people from areas in the Kherson region, which are regularly shelled by Ukrainian troops, continues, with around 68,000 people having been evacuated to other Russian regions as of mid-January, the region’s acting governor, Vladimir Saldo, told TASS on Friday.
"It used to be a quite densely populated area, with at least 150,000 people living there. We have evacuated around 60,000. It is difficult to say how many people are still staying there, because residents began to leave before the organized evacuation started and the evacuation is still ongoing. Most probably, not more than half of the original number of residents are still there. But I can tell you the exact number of Kherson region residents who have been evacuated to other Russian regions. There were 68,000 of them as of January 15," he said.
According to Saldo, the majority of the people were evacuated to Crimea. "Since the very beginning of the special military operation, Crimea has been offering maximal assistance and brotherly support. And not only on humanitarian matters. Hundreds of Crimeans are heroically fighting on the frontline in the Kherson region. I avail myself of the opportunity to once again congratulate our neighbors on Republic of Crimea Day. The 2014 historical referendum in Crimea served as a model for the liberated territories, which became Russia’s new regions in 2022," he said.
On November 9, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered a pullback of troops from the right bank of the Dnieper River in the Kherson Region to its left bank, a move suggested by the then Commander of Russia’s Integrated Group of Forces in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin, who stressed that the Russian military had successfully repulsed all Ukrainian attacks. The decision to move the forces back, in his words, was also due to the risk of their isolation, should territories downstream from the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant be flooded. Surovikin said that all civilians who wished to leave - more than 115,000 people - had already been evacuated from the right bank.