In Cherson, the Russian occupiers come under so much pressure that they call on the civilian population to flee. Bereaved men should join a special militia. According to a former British general, defeat is inevitable.

Russian control over the annexed Kherson region continues to dwindle. The Russians would face an “inevitable defeat,” General Lord Dannatt, a former chief of the British Army, said on Monday. The situation of the Russians in Cherson is “bleak”, writes a Russian milblogger, who is a blogger and a soldier at the front.

Over the weekend, Ukrainian forces continued their offensive to liberate the occupied territories. From the Ukrainian point of view, there are more and more successes in Cherson. Ukrainian forces are still some distance from the city of Kherson, but have advanced in other parts of the region. Russia has already withdrawn its troops from the west because their position seems to be under too much strain. At the same time, information is accumulating that Russian troops have removed valuables and important documents from the city of Kherson.

In view of the advance of Kiev troops, Russia has so far sent more than 25,000 civilians out of the city of Kherson. They should take “documents, money, valuables and clothing” with them because “the situation at the front is tense,” said Kirill Stremousov, deputy chief of the Russian occupation administration, in a radio interview on Sunday. Cherson is now a ghost town, a resident told CNN.

Instead, the men who stayed behind are to join a newly formed local militia, the administration announced on Monday, and repel the Ukrainian counter-offensive. The commander of the Russian troops in Ukraine, Sergey Surovikin, also announced “difficult decisions”, which observers interpret as an indication of a planned withdrawal.

“The Russians are obviously thinking about turning the probably inevitable defeat into some sort of orderly retreat to make the situation less chaotic from their perspective,” Dannatt told Sky News. Reports that officers have already been moved to the rear room cannot be independently confirmed. The Russian leadership, which only officially annexed the Cherson region in September, denies withdrawal plans.

The urgent call to flee indicates that the Russian occupiers are attempting to depopulate the city in order to damage its “long-term social and economic viability”, say the experts at the American think tank “Institute for the Study of War”. Located on the right bank of the Dnipro, the city of Cherson was captured by Russia at the very beginning of the war of aggression. Cherson is still the only provincial capital that the Russians have conquered. 20,000 soldiers were stationed in and around the city. But now the Ukrainian troops have systematically destroyed the supply routes of the Russian soldiers across the Dnipro and are advancing on the city in their counter-offensive.

“One constantly hears how the armed forces of Ukraine are shelling the positions of the occupying forces. You can’t imagine how happy the locals are,” one resident told CNN. She wants to stay in her home country. But the fear of winter is getting bigger – the fear of not being able to heat and eat enough. The power supply could also be affected.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that in the past 24 hours Russia had launched further attacks on Ukraine’s energy and military infrastructure, damaging or destroying about a third of the country’s power generation capacity.

Another concern: Russia could blow up a large dam in Nova Kakhovka, upstream from Kherson, which holds 18 million cubic meters of water, writes the “ISW”. On Friday, Ukraine’s defense intelligence service warned that the dam had been mined and two trucks full of explosives had been planted on the 30-meter-high walls.

With this, Russia wants to flood the Dnipro to delay the Ukrainian advance. Detonating the dam would destroy homes, disrupt energy supplies and have significant environmental impacts. The Russian authorities have taken measures to reduce the volume of water behind the dam to minimize the damage, the “ISW” continued. They would allegedly do so because they fear Ukrainian forces will blow up the dam.

According to British secret services, Russia is preparing to defend its occupied territories at great expense. The notorious Russian mercenary unit “Wagner” wants to set up a line of defense in the occupied Luhansk region, according to a short report by the British Ministry of Defense on Twitter on Sunday.