Russia not ready to retreat from Ukraine’s south, says Ukrainian MP

8 March, 01:12 PM
Veteran of the ATO, people's deputy Roman Kostenko (Photo:Роман Костенко / Facebook)

Veteran of the ATO, people's deputy Roman Kostenko (Photo:Роман Костенко / Facebook)

There remain no signs of a Russian retreat from the south of Ukraine, Holos Party MP Roman Kostenko, the secretary of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, a SBU colonel and former intelligence officer, has told Radio NV.

Commenting on the possibility of a Russian retreat in view of the alleged removal of valuable equipment from Enerhodar and the Zaporizhzhiya Nuclear Power Plant, Kostenko told NV that “we do not see that the occupiers are preparing to retreat. On the contrary, they’re preparing defenses and defend themselves.”

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Kostenko posited that it could simply be regular Russian looting – a war crime.

“It often happens with them,” he said. “There is a rotation of units, and those who go on vacation also do some looting, so that somewhere later they can send it home from the occupied territory or (somewhere) with access to Russia’s borders.”

The lawmaker noted that the liberated part of Kherson Oblast was still very dangerous.

“The enemy is standing along the Dnipro River,” he said. “They even pulled up equipment there. And with their artillery and observation posts, they are constantly inflicting damage on the civilian population, (while) trying to find some of our military facilities to also shoot,” Kostenko said.

He also said that the Russians are aware of how strategic the Zaporizhzhya area is for the Ukrainian army.

“I know that they heavily mined the entire territory in front of them,” Kostenko said.

“They pulled up their reserves there after leaving the right bank of the Dnipro River and are on the defensive. Therefore, I personally can’t say anything about a retreat. We see that they’re still standing. If there’s a retreat, it will only be under pressure from us.”

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