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‘We may have to make some difficult decisions in Kherson’ Meduza's summary of the first interview given by Russia's new top commander in Ukraine
Overall, the situation in the special military operation zone is tense. Our opponent is a criminal regime, while we and the Ukrainians are one people and want the same thing: for Ukraine to be a country that’s friendly to Russia and independent from the West. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are pulling all of their reserves, including untrained territorial defense forces, to the front; they’re effectively condemning them to destruction. Nationalist detachments are shooting everybody who tries to escape. Every day, the Ukrainian Armed Forces lose 600–1,000 people to death and injuries. We’re not striving for a quick advance, because we take care of every soldier, and because this reduces the number of civilian victims. The situation in the Kherson direction is complicated. In the city itself, there are supply problems. NATO is demanding that Ukraine carry out offensive operations regardless of the number of casualties. We have information that Kyiv might use illegal methods of warfare. Our task is to save lives, and that’s why we’re moving the population out of the area. Our subsequent plans with regard to Kherson will depend on the situation. We haven’t ruled out making some tough decisions.
This is an abridged summary of an interview Sergey Surovikin, the newly appointed commander of Russia’s troops in Ukraine, gave to Russia state media on October 18. Meduza cannot always promptly verify or refute claims made by officials during wartime.
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