GENICHESK, December 25. /TASS/. The shelling of Kherson by Ukrainian troops, which resulted in civilian deaths, is Ukraine’s false flag operation, Vladimir Saldo, the acting governor of the Kherson Region, wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.
"Today, militants of Ukrainian armed formations have conducted terrorist shelling of Kherson, which caused civilian deaths. It is a disgusting provocation pursuing an evident goal of pinning the blame on the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation," he said.
According to Saldo, the nature of destruction vividly shows that the shelling had been conducted by mobile mortar units from the city’s north and northwest.
"It is a vile, despicable trick that Ukrainian militants often resort to, as having fired a few shots, they cowardly get away from the scene of shelling, often in a civilian vehicle to cover up their crimes," he said.
The acting governor said that not only do Ukrainian service members "execute [the residents of Kherson] and throw them into prison cells", but they also make them "undergo humiliating filtration procedures, forcibly call them up for active duty and sent them to slaughter" in Donbass, and now they started eliminating them with mortar fire.
"Ukraine’s political leadership is responsible for another bloody atrocity, as they give orders to open fire against residential neighborhoods," he stressed.
Earlier on Saturday, the Strana publication reported explosions in the city of Kherson. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba claimed that the city was bombarded by Russia.
On November 9, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered Commander of the Integrated Group of Forces in Ukraine Army General Sergey Surovikin to relocate the troops from the right bank of the Dnieper River, where the city of Kherson is located, to the left bank. The decision was made following Surovikin’s report to the defense chief on the operational situation in that area.
The commander said that Russian troops were successfully repelling Ukrainian army attacks while the decision on the troop relocation was also prompted by the risk of the battlegroup’s isolation over the potential flooding of territories below the Kakhovka hydropower plant.