Russian forces continue to prevent people from evacuating the Kherson region into Ukrainian-controlled territory, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Saturday, accusing Russia of "terror tactics."
Villages there are on the verge of a humanitarian crisis, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said Saturday.
Kherson has been occupied by the Russians since early in the invasion of Ukraine, and Russians have been allowing Ukrainians who want to flee only to go to Crimea, which Russia occupied and annexed eight years ago.
Ukrainians in the region have told CNN about critical shortages of medicines, and Russian harassment, disappearances and violence against people who have remained.
Convoys of cars trying to leave the area have been blocked for days at a time and sometimes fired upon.
The deputy head of the Kherson regional council, Yurii Sobolevskyi, said Saturday the Russian occupiers’ "organizational incompetence and criminal actions … are driving the Kherson region into a deeper humanitarian crisis."
He said Ukrainian local governments were refusing "to collaborate with the occupiers," which was creating a leadership vacuum.
The Russians trying to govern the occupied territories "do not know how to solve the problems of communities; their interests are limited to 'collecting taxes' and redistributing property and other assets," Sobolevskyi charged.