Russian troops are moving sick and wounded people from hospitals in southern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian military officials.
Russian troops moved sick and wounded soldiers from hospitals in southern Ukraine’s Kherson region as their forces fought to regain control of a province overrun by invading soldiers early in the war, Ukrainian military officials said Saturday.
The city of Kherson, the region’s capital, was previously urged to be emptied of civilians by Kremlin-installed authorities. The Moscow-appointed authorities in Kherson were reported to have abandoned the city, along with tens of thousands of residents who fled to other Russia-held areas ahead of an expected advance by the Ukrainian forces.
The military’s claims were not verified. In a video address Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Russians were stripping the health care system in Kherson and other occupied areas.
The occupiers decided to close medical institutions in the cities, take away equipment and ambulances. Zelenskyy said that they put pressure on the doctors who were still in the occupied areas to move to the territory of Russia.
Russian shelling and missile attacks in the country’s east continued as Ukrainian forces sought to gain control of the south. In the last day, three people died and eight were wounded in the eastern part of the country, which has become a front-line battleground as Russian soldiers attempt to capture the city of Bakhmut.
Bakhmut has been identified by Western analysts as an important target in Russia’s offensive. Moscow’s forces would be able to threaten the two largest Ukrainian-held cities remaining in the long-embattled Donbas region if they captured Bakhmut.
The Donbas is made up of both Luhansk province and the city of Donetsk. Some parts of both provinces have been controlled by the pro-Russia movement since 2014.
In the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Russia’s troops retreated last month and Ukrainian troops clawed back swaths of territory, Russian shelling overnight wounded three civilians.
The governor of the illegally annexed Zaporizhzhia region said that a Russian shelling attack on Saturday also hit critical infrastructure. The local capital, also called Zaporizhzhia, is located in a quarter of the region that remains under Ukrainian military control.
The governor was writing on Telegram. The damage was being assessed, according to Oleksandr Starukh. He did not mention any casualties and did not specify what was struck.
There is political pressure to negotiate an end to the war in some parts of western Europe. Zelenskyy said that his country wouldn’t negotiate with Russia if Moscow insists that the annexed regions are Russian territory.
The Ukrainian leader told students at Yale University on Friday that he wouldn’t negotiate with Putin’s government because of its disrespect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
According to the Ukrainian leader, about 4 million Ukrainians live in areas that are subject to rolling power cuts following weeks of Russia targeting power plants and infrastructure. He warned of the possibility of emergency power cuts in other parts of Ukraine.