Ukrainian military believes disappearance of Russian flag from Kherson likely a trap
The Russian flag disappeared from the building of the Kherson Regional State Administration in the occupied regional center (Photo:Євген Рищук/Telegram)
The disappearance of the Russian flag from the regional state administration building in the occupied city of Kherson may be part of a trap devised by the Russian invasion forces, Ukrainian military spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk said on Ukrainian TV on Nov. 3.
According to her, the Russian military is preparing for an expected Ukrainian offensive, so they are planning various provocations and traps around the city and the larger oblast.
“This may be a manifestation of certain provocations in order to create the impression that the settlements are abandoned, that the approach is safe,” Humeniuk noted.
“But taking into account that they were preparing for street fighting, how they deploy their units, we are aware of the planned tactics.”
She also warned against rejoicing too soon.
"Hybrid warfare also involves such information injections, attacks that can be designed to weaken regular troops," explained the spokeswoman.
Kherson regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych added that Russians are pretending to have left Kherson and want to mislead the Ukrainian military and authorities.
“The occupiers create an illusion that they are leaving Kherson — enemy checkpoints have been removed from the city and the number of Russian troops has decreased,” he wrote on Telegram.
“This is how they want to mislead us.”
Yanushevych urged residents of Kherson to have a go-bag ready, stock up on food, and arrange shelters.
The official also said that Kherson would be liberated from Russian troops, but "there are still many fierce battles ahead".
Photos and videos showing the seeming disappearance of the Russian flag from the building began circulating on social networks on Nov. 3.
Against this backdrop, Yevhen Ryshchuk, the mayor of the town of Oleshky near Kherson, said that Russian troops had abandoned checkpoints in the settlements of Chornobayivka, Stepanivka and Bilozerka in Kherson Oblast.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military is advancing in the oblast, gradually liberating Ukrainian territories.
Satellite images showed that Russia’s Kherson garrison is swiftly moving materiel and troops to the east side of the Dnipro River.
Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov noted that the Armed Forces control all bridges leading into the oblast, meaning that the Russians have no way to retreat.
Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said that the operation to liberate Kherson is likely to last until the end of November.
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