Russia is preparing to “cleanse” Kherson and Ukraine reveals the proximity of receiving the advanced “NASAMS” system
Pro-Russian local authorities in the Kherson province called on residents to leave the province towards safe Russian regions, regions and districts, allowing Russian troops to maneuver during what they described as the operation to clear the area of Ukrainian troops.
The Russian TASS news agency said that evacuees from the Kherson region are expected to begin arriving in Russia, at a time when Kiev announced the restoration of more than 600 areas within a month of its counteroffensive in the East and south of the country.
In turn, the Ukrainian Regional Council of the Kherson province said that what the pro-Russian authorities call an evacuation operation is nothing more than a deportation of residents cooperating with them, and the Ukrainian Regional Council added that the invitation to leave is limited only to those whom it called accomplices of Moscow.
Despite Russia’s assertion that this step was to allow its forces to expel Ukrainian troops who have made significant progress in Kherson over the past days, the call by local authorities in Kherson for residents of the province to leave raised questions about the ability of the Russian army to protect the areas annexed by Moscow in late September.
In the city of Bakhmut, east of Donetsk, local sources reported that the city was again heavily shelled by Russian troops. The sources said that the battles were renewed on the borders of the city, and that Russian forces sent military reinforcements to the place after launching an attack on it from several axes.
On the other hand, Russian media and military sources reported the beginning of the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the Bakhmut region, as a result of the attack by Russian forces on this axis.
In a related context, the Ukrainian military said that today its air defenses shot down 8 Iranian-made drones in the south of the country.
The military added that 5 aircraft were shot down by anti-aircraft missiles, and another 3 were destroyed by air defense systems.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov also announced that his country will receive “NASAMS” anti-aircraft missile systems from the United States this month.
The Ukrainian minister noted that the Ukrainian military is currently training on these systems.
Reznikov said that Russia has used a third of its long-range missile stockpile since the beginning of the war, and this will lead to its defeat.
In a tweet on Twitter, the Ukrainian minister said that Russia’s firing of hundreds of high-precision missiles at civilian targets in Ukraine weakens its ability to hit military targets, adding that the military defeat of Russia is inevitable, a “terrorist” state in his words.
Zelensky and bin Salman
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he agreed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman-in a telephone conversation – to cooperate on the prisoners ‘ file and provide financial assistance to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian president added-in a tweet-that he thanked the Saudi crown prince for supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
For its part, the Saudi Press Agency said that the kingdom will provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine worth 400 million dollars, adding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday.
The agency added that bin Salman expressed the kingdom’s readiness to continue mediation efforts and support everything that contributes to de-escalation.
On the other hand, the US State Department and the Pentagon announced on Friday that Washington will send additional military assistance worth 725 million dollars to Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the assistance comes “in the wake of brutal Russian missile attacks on civilians throughout Ukraine and mounting evidence of atrocities committed by Russian forces”.
The Pentagon added-in a separate statement-that this latest package of assistance includes more ammunition for the “HIMARS”missile launcher system.
This assistance brings the total amount of US military assistance to Ukraine to 18.3 billion dollars, since the administration of President Joe Biden took power.
The package also includes anti-tank weapons, “harm” anti-radiation missiles, radars, military vehicles and medical equipment, according to the Pentagon.
“We will continue to stand by the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence with extraordinary courage and boundless determination,” Blinken said, adding that “the capabilities we offer are carefully evaluated to make the most difference on the battlefield in Ukraine”.