Russia is preparing for close-quarters combat in Kherson, Kyiv says

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By Euronews  with AFP
The Ukrainian army says it is closing in on the southern city of Kherson, occupied by Russia since the early stages of the invasion.
The Ukrainian army says it is closing in on the southern city of Kherson, occupied by Russia since the early stages of the invasion.   -   Copyright  EV-Euronews

Ukraine has accused Russia of looting empty homes in the southern city of Kherson and occupying them with troops in civilian clothing. Kyiv officials claim it is part of preparations for close-quarters combat in what both sides predict will be one of the war's most important battles.

In recent days, Russia has ordered civilians out of Kherson, a city it has occupied since the early stages of the war. Kyiv has accused Moscow of forced deportations.

Meanwhile, accounts of life under Russian occupation by those who have managed to flee are beginning to emerge. Some speak of having to hide their phones from troops and the impossibility of contacting the outside world.

"The Russians went from house to house with weapons and said 'let me see your phone'," one refugee from the village of Kachkirivka said.

"Then they put it in a bucket and took it to their car." 

Russia has imposed martial law and curtailed communications across the four Ukrainian regions that it illegally annexed in September.