Listen to 97.3 KIRO Newsradio: NOW! Seahawks vs. Raiders gameday coverage

Russian authorities advise civilians to leave Ukraine region

Oct 21, 2022, 3:33 PM | Updated: Oct 22, 2022, 11:26 am
A view of a damaged bridge in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. ...

A view of a damaged bridge in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

(AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

              A view of a damaged bridge in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)
            
              Vladimir Semenets, 84, stands in front of his damaged house in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)
            
              An Orthodox icon is seen on a damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)
            
              Destroyed domes lie next to a damaged church in the retaken village of Bohorodychne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)
            
              A woman hods her child as other evacuees from Kherson gather upon their arrival at the railway station in Dzhankoi, Crimea, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Russian authorities have encouraged residents of Kherson to evacuate, warning that the city may come under massive Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo)
            
              Evacuees from Kherson gather upon their arrival at the railway station in Dzhankoi, Crimea, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Russian authorities have encouraged residents of Kherson to evacuate, warning that the city may come under massive Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo)
            
              A Ukrainian soldier sits in shelter as he prepare fire the Russian positions with the mortar in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)
            
              Evacuees from Kherson gather upon their arrival at the railway station in Dzhankoi, Crimea, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Russian authorities have encouraged residents of Kherson to evacuate, warning that the city may come under massive Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo)
            
              Evacuees from Kherson gather upon their arrival at the railway station in Dzhankoi, Crimea, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Russian authorities have encouraged residents of Kherson to evacuate, warning that the city may come under massive Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo)
            
              People stand outside a bar in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Russia has declared its intention to increase its targeting of Ukraine's power, water and other vital infrastructure in its latest phase of the nearly 8-month-old war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that Moscow's forces have destroyed nearly a third of the country's power stations since Oct. 10. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
            
              A man looks out from a window in a building damaged by fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Russia has declared its intention to increase its targeting of Ukraine's power, water and other vital infrastructure in its latest phase of the nearly 8-month-old war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that Moscow's forces have destroyed nearly a third of the country's power stations since Oct. 10. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine told all residents of the city of Kherson to leave “immediately” Saturday ahead of an expected advance by Ukrainian troops waging a counteroffensive to recapture one of the first urban areas Russia took after invading the country.

In a post on the Telegram messaging service, the pro-Kremlin regional administration strongly urged civilians to use boat crossings over a major river to move deeper into Russian-held territory, citing a tense situation on the front and the threat of shelling and alleged plans for “terror attacks” by Kyiv.

Kherson has been in Russian hands since the early days of the nearly 8-month-long war in Ukraine. The city is the capital of a region of the same name, one of four that Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed last month and put under Russian martial law on Thursday.

On Friday, Ukrainian forces bombarded Russian positions across the province, targeting pro-Kremlin forces’ resupply routes across the Dnieper River and preparing for a final push to reclaim the city.

The Ukrainian military has reclaimed broad areas in the north of the region since launching a counteroffensive in late August. It reported new successes Saturday, saying that Russian troops were forced to retreat from the villages of Charivne and Chkalove in the Beryslav district.

Russian-installed officials were reported as trying desperately to turn Kherson city — a prime objective for both sides because of its key industries and ports — into a fortress while attempting to relocate tens of thousands of residents.

The Kremlin poured as many as 2,000 draftees into the surrounding region to replenish losses and strengthen front-line units, according to the Ukrainian army’s general staff.

The wide Dnieper River figures as a major factor in the fighting, making it hard for Russia to supply its troops defending the city of Kherson and nearby areas on the west bank after relentless Ukrainian strikes rendered the main crossings unusable.

Taking control of Kherson has allowed Russia to resume fresh water supplies from the Dnieper to Crimea, which were cut by Ukraine after Moscow’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula. A big hydroelectric power plant upstream from Kherson city is a key source of energy for the southern region. Ukraine and Russia accused each other of trying to blow it up to flood the mostly flat region.

Kherson’s Kremlin-backed authorities previously announced plans to evacuate all Russia-appointed officials and as many as 60,000 civilians across the river, in what local leader Vladimir Saldo said would be an “organized, gradual displacement.”

Another Russia-installed official estimated Saturday that around 25,000 people from across the region had made their way over the Dnieper. In a Telegram post, Kirill Stremousov claimed that civilians were relocating willingly.

“People are actively moving because today the priority is life. We do not drag anyone anywhere,” he said, adding that some residents could be waiting for the Ukrainian army to reclaim the city.

Ukrainian and Western officials have expressed concern about potential forced transfers of residents to Russia or Russian-occupied territory.

Ukrainian officials urged Kherson residents to resist attempts to relocate them, with one local official alleging that Moscow wanted to take civilians hostage and use them as human shields.

Elsewhere in the invaded country, hundreds of thousands of people in central and western Ukraine woke up on Saturday to power outages and periodic bursts of gunfire. In its latest war tactic, Russia has intensified strikes on power stations, water supply systems and other key infrastructure across the country.

Ukraine’s air force said in a statement Saturday that Russia had launched “a massive missile attack” targeting “critical infrastructure,” adding that it had downed 18 out of 33 cruise missiles launched from the air and sea.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later said that Russian launched 36 missiles, most of which were shot down.

“Those treacherous blows on critically important facilities are characteristic tactics of terrorists,” Zelenskyy said. “The world can and must stop this terror.”

Air raid sirens blared across Ukraine twice by early afternoon, sending residents scurrying into shelters as Ukrainian air defense tried to shoot down explosive drones and incoming missiles.

“Several rockets” targeting Ukraine’s capital were shot down Saturday morning, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging service.

The president’s office said in its morning update that five suicide drones were downed in the central Cherkasy region southeast of Kyiv. Similar reports came from the governors of six western and central provinces, as well as of the southern Odesa region on the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s top diplomat said the day’s attacks proved Ukraine needed new Western-reinforced air defense systems “without a minute of delay.”

“Air defense saves lives,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said on Telegram that almost 1.4 million households lost power as a result of the strikes. He said some 672,000 homes in the western Khmelnytskyi region were affected and another 242,000 suffered outages in the Cherkasy region.

Most of the western city of Khmelnytskyi, which straddles the Bug River and had a pre-war population of 275,000, was left with no electricity, shortly after local media reported several loud explosions.

In a social media post on Saturday, the city council urged local residents to store water “in case it’s also gone within an hour.”

The mayor of Lutsk, a city of 215,000 in far western Ukraine, made a similar appeal, saying that power in the city was partially knocked out after Russian missiles slammed into local energy facilities and damaged one power plant beyond repair.

The central city of Uman, a key pilgrimage center for Hasidic Jews with about 100,000 residents before the war, also was plunged into darkness after a rocket hit a nearby power plant.

Ukraine’s state energy company, Ukrenergo, responded to the strikes by announcing that rolling blackouts would be imposed in Kyiv and 10 Ukrainian regions to stabilize the situation.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the company accused Russia of attacking “energy facilities within the principal networks of the western regions of Ukraine.” It claimed the scale of destruction was comparable to the fallout earlier this month from Moscow’s first coordinated attack on the Ukrainian energy grid.

Both Ukrenergo and officials in Kyiv have urged Ukrainians to conserve energy. Earlier this week, Zelenskyy called on consumers to curb their power use between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and to avoid using energy-guzzling appliances such as electric heaters.

Zelenskyy said earlier in the week that 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed since Russia launched the first wave of targeted infrastructure strikes on Oct. 10.

In a separate development, Russian officials said two people were killed and 12 others were wounded by Ukrainian shelling of the town of Shebekino in the Belgorod region near the border.

___

Kozlowska reported from London.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Small plane caught in power lines after crash, passengers OK

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A small plane crashed into and got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials tried to extricate the plane. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were aboard. Pete Piringer, chief spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walks on the sideline during a NFL division...
Associated Press

NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. taken off plane in Miami

MIAMI (AP) — NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. was removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious, police and airline officials said Sunday. “Fearing that Mr. Beckham was seriously ill, and that […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Landslide kills at least 14 at funeral in Cameroon’s capital

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — A landslide during a funeral ceremony in Cameroon’s capital on Sunday has left at least 14 people dead, the regional governor said. Dozens of others were missing as rescue crews dug through the rubble with flashlights. Centre Regional Gov. Naseri Paul Bea told the Cameroonian national broadcaster CRTV that the search […]
2 days ago
People gather at the capital's main square, the Zócalo, as they listen to Mexican President André...
Associated Press

Mexico’s López Obrador leads massive pro-government march

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Mexico’s capital Sunday in a show of support for President Manuel López Obrador, who before assuming the presidency had led some of the country’s biggest protests. The “people’s march” marked four years in office for the leftist leader and was a response to a […]
2 days ago
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James in Centur...
Associated Press

Colorado shooting victim ‘wanted to save the family I found’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A member of the U.S. Navy who was injured while helping prevent further harm during a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado last weekend said Sunday that he “simply wanted to save the family that I found.” Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James made his first public comments on […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

NY sergeant hailed for aiding at 2017 birth helps at another

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of police officers who helped deliver a baby at a Long Island home over the weekend included a sergeant who helped another newborn take his first breath five years ago. This time, Suffolk County Sgt. Jon-Erik Negron joined officers Conor Diemer, Jadin Rodriguez and Zachary Vormittag after a woman […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Russian authorities advise civilians to leave Ukraine region