A political commentator has warned that she is “nervous” about how publicly Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced their withdrawal from Kherson and believes Moscow could be “luring” in Ukrainian forces.
Lucy Fisher, chief political commentator at The Times believes that Russia’s retreat from the strategic port town of Kherson “could be an ambush” before Vladimir Putin tries “to bomb them with low-yield tactical nuclear weapons.”
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and his top commanders have expressed publicly their scepticism as Putin officially declared Kherson will be Russian “forever.”
Fisher warned that something has “clearly gone wrong for Russia” to have made the withdrawal announcement so public, and just last week Putin ordered the mass evacuation of all civilians and pulled out all critical infrastructure from hospitals and government buildings.
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The Times chief political commentator warned that Putin could be attempting to offer a false sense of security to lure hundreds if not thousands of Ukrainian forces in to Kherson to then possibly try “to bomb them with low-yield tactical nuclear weapons.”
Fisher said, “Kherson is very important strategically.
“It is a port city and it is symbolically so important to Russia because it is the only major regional hub that they have managed to take in Ukraine that it did not have before.
“That is the main gain, so to give it up is a really important turning point in the war but I am nervous to say that this is what it seems on the face of it.
“It is all a bit too obvious. Sergei Shoigu, the [Russian] Defence Minister, going on television and talking about the retreat, it does feel like it could be an ambush to lure Ukrainian forces in to try to bomb them with conventional weapons or even the fear of low-yield tactical nuclear weapons that there has been so much talk over, even Chinese President Xi has warned Putin not to use them, and you would think he would be bound by that.
“But clearly something has gone wrong here for the Russians. There is going to be huge retaliation after them withdrawing their forces. To me, it is just not clear exactly the state of play.”
General Sir Richard Shirreff, the former NATO deputy supreme allied commander also does not buy any of it, warning this could “easily” be a trap and that there’s “got to be a catch somewhere.”
Sir Richard told Sky News, We had that pantomime briefing in the Kremlin yesterday between [Sergei] Shoigu and [Shoigu] Surovikin, the Russian commander.
“But we must not take anything the Russian say at face value, so I think the first question is to understand what is going on.”
Sir Richard added, that if the Russians are withdrawing, then they are “defeated.”
General Shirreff said, “I’m not going to sit back here and say that it’s not a trap. I think it could easily be – never take what the Russians say at face value.
“If they’ve broadcast this in the way they have, then there’s got to be a catch somewhere.”