Kherson Turns into ‘City of Death’ with Russian Booby Traps Everywhere

Russian forces are booby-trapping the city of Kherson, a senior Ukrainian official has warned, accusing them of trying to turn Kherson into a “city of death”.

Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head office of Ukraine’s president, tweeted that the Russian military plans to turn the city into ruins, mining everything they can – apartments, sewers- while retreating from it as announced on Wednesday, and preparing artillery on the left bank of the Dnieper River.

He claimed that the Russian forces deployed to Kherson, one of the areas that Russia claimed to annex from Ukraine in September, came, robbed, celebrated, killed ‘witnesses’, left ruins, and left.

Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu’s announcement on Wednesday that it would withdraw its troops from the right bank of the Kherson region has been diverging various reactions with Ukraine’s authorities being skeptical of Moscow’s move.

Podolyak said in a tweet late on Wednesday that Russian troops are still present in Kherson city and that Kyiv sees no evidence Russia would leave without a fight, pointing out that Ukraine is liberating territories based on intelligence, not on staged TV statements.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, implied in his statement that Moscow’s trying to trick Ukraine, warning them, however, that Kyiv’s one step ahead.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, on the other hand, noted that the enemy doesn’t just leave, stressing that Ukraine will retake Kherson and other occupied areas, but as a result of Ukrainian military efforts.

Western officials, however, showed a larger dose of optimism, with several prominent military analysts arguing that Moscow’s announcement is genuine and prompted by the desire to avoid repeating its chaotic retreat from the Kharkiv region in September and to save some of its best troops and equipment.

NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, noted that if Russian troops leave Kherson, it would be another victory for Ukraine at a time of increased pressure on Russia.