Thousands of people are being evacuated from the Russian-controlled city of Kherson (Photo: Reuters)

The authorities appointed by Russia ordered the residents of the Ukrainian city of Kherson to evacuate “immediately” because Ukraine is closing.

Kherson, the capital of the southern region of the same name and one of the four illegally annexed Russia last month, is a key strategic focus of the war.

On the eve of the expected offensive of the Ukrainian military, the Russian regional administration ordered people to flee from the impending “terrorist attacks” in Kiev.

But one resident of Kherson thinks otherwise, claiming that Russian officials and allies are at the top of the evacuation list.

They told Sky News today: “This is not an evacuation of the civilian population. Collaborators and those who came to help the occupiers are fleeing.”

“Mostly these are families of Russian officers, families of Russian officials and collaborators who helped organize the referendum.

“Among them are teachers and doctors, utility workers and kindergarten workers. Those who took Russian passports.”

The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations took out an elderly woman from Kherson (Photo: Reuters)
Russian officials have invaded the annexed regions of Ukraine, saying the city is under threat of missile and artillery strikes (Image: EPA)

Russia warned civilians of the imminent threat of shelling and told them to leave so Russia could strengthen defense lines to repel the attacks.

Thousands flocked to boats this week from Kherson across the Dnieper River, which bisects the country.

But the ordered route moves residents deeper into Russian-controlled territory and further away from Kherson, which the Kremlin has shakily held since the first days of the war.

Tens of thousands of civilians and Russian officials will be evicted as part of the operation, Earlier this week, the local leader Uladzimir Saldo said.

He estimates that some 50,000 to 60,000 civilians will leave as a result of an “organized, gradual displacement.”

Civilians are asked to use ferries (Photo: Reuters)
The city on the banks of the Dnieper is a strategic center of the war (Photo: EPA)

Ukrainian troops are rapidly advancing along the western bank of the Dnieper, trying to repel the Russians.

The Kremlin sent about 2,000 conscripts to the region to strengthen the front line, reports the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army.

But on Friday, Kyiv disrupted Russian supply routes through Kherson as they slowly moved toward Kherson.

And there are good reasons for this. Kherson is the only land route to the Crimean peninsula that allows Moscow to deliver goods, such as drinking water, there.

Here lies the Kakhovskaya HPP, which does not allow the southern region to shine.

As a sign of Russia’s growing desperation, Moscow is even considering the possibility of blowing up the dam near the factory on the outskirts of Kherson.

This will allow Russia to buy some time, even if it floods thousands of people who live nearby, US think tank The Institute of War suggested Wednesday.

Kherson is one of three other regions that were illegally incorporated into Russia after a fake referendum.

All four are now on military duty, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday, handing broad powers to the Russian-appointed leaders of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson.

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Thousands flee annexed Kherson after Russia orders ‘immediate’ evacuation