Russian occupation authorities in southern Ukraine said on Tuesday that tens of thousands more people would be evacuated from the Kherson region as part of the Kyiv counteroffensive.
The Russian-installed leader in the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, said some 70,000 people along a 15-kilometre (10-mile) stretch of the left bank of the Dnipro would be moved deeper into the region or to Russia.
“We have already started this work,” he said in an interview with YouTube channel Solovyov Live.
He said the relocation was being carried out because of the risk of a “massive missile attack” by Ukrainian forces on a local dam.
Russian occupation authorities said last week that 70,000 civilians had left their homes on the right bank of the Dnipro River.
On Monday, Saldo said the latest evacuations would allow the Russian military to set up defenses and repel a possible Ukrainian attack.
Kyiv forces are preparing for a fierce battle to retake the region’s main city of Kherson and surrounding areas on the right bank of the Dnipro after making significant gains in eastern and southern Ukraine.
The city, with a pre-war population of around 288,000, was one of the first to fall to forces from Moscow after President Vladimir Putin sent troops across the border in February. Taking him back would mark an important milestone for Kyiv.