The Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered all of their troops to retreat from the strategic southern city of Kherson.
Russian troops will leave Kherson “in the near future” to then take up new positions across the Dnipro River and soldiers have already abandoned key checkpoints around the city.
Russian troops have blown bridges to prevent the Ukrainian offensive from gaining more ground and capturing them as the withdraw.
In yet another humiliating blow to Vladimir Putin, General Sergei Surovikin, who is leading the war has said it is impossible to defend the city against Ukrainian forces.
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Kherson is the key road to Crimea and President Volodymyr Zelenksy vowed on 25 October that Ukrainian forces will retake the annexed peninsula.
General Surovikin told the Russian Defence Minister, “Kherson cannot be fully supplied and function. Russia did everything possible to ensure the evacuation of the inhabitants of Kherson.
“The decision to defend on the left bank of the Dnipro is not easy, at the same time we will save the lives of our military.”
He added, “We will save the lives of our soldiers and fighting capacity of our units.
“Keeping them on the right (western) bank is futile.
“Some of them can be used on other fronts.”
Russia’s Defence Minister said in response, “I agree with your conclusions and proposals.
“Proceed with the withdrawal of troops and take all measures to transfer forces across the river.”
The Guardian’s Luke Harding has tweeted a video of Shoigu giving the order to retreat from the strategic city of Kherson.
Shoigu said, “The lives and health of our troops always takes priority.
“Take into account the threat to the civilian population and respect the wishes of those who wish to leave.
“And secure the transfer of military equipment across the Dnipro.”
On Wednesday the Russian installed deputy leader of Kherson was killed in a “car accident” in the region and a Ukrainian legislator called Kirill Stremousov a “traitor.”
Mikhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Zelenskyy, said, “Ukraine does not pay attention to Russian statements – words and actions differ.”