GENICHESK, May 29. /TASS/. The population of the city of Kherson has fallen since November 2022 from 320,000 inhabitants to just under 50,000, following the evacuation that began several weeks before Russian troops withdrew from the right bank of the Dnieper River, Kherson Region Acting Governor Vladimir Saldo said on Monday.
"Not many people remain in [the city of] Kherson now. More than 120,000 [people] were evacuated to the left bank, while some people left on their own. Now, no more than 50,000 out of [a pre-conflict urban population of] 320,000 remain in Kherson," he wrote on his Telegram channel, noting that the bulk of those who remained in the city obtained Russian passports.
According to him, those who were waiting for Ukrainian troops to return to Kherson have by now reconsidered the situation and are expecting the return of Russian forces.
On November 9, 2022, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered that Russian troops be pulled from the right bank of the Dnieper River, where Kherson is located, back to the left bank, a tactical move proposed by Army General Sergey Surovikin, then-commander of the joint group of forces in the special military operation zone. Surovikin emphasized that Russian forces had been successfully repelling Ukrainian attacks, and the decision to move the forces out was driven by the threat that the troops could become isolated due to potential flooding of the territory below the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.