Mayor of Kherson, first major Ukrainian city seized by Russia, tells residents to follow troops' orders

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A military tank is seen on a street in Kherson on
A military tank is seen on a street in Kherson on March 1, 2022. Reuters

  • Russian troops seized the Ukrainian city of Kherson on Wednesday.
  • The city's mayor told residents to follow Russian orders and not to fight back.
  • As a port city, Kherson allows Russia to import equipment into Ukraine via the Black Sea. 
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The mayor of Kherson, the Ukrainian port city that fell to Russian forces on Wednesday, said residents should follow the orders of occupying troops and refrain from fighting back. 

Ihor Kolykhaiev wrote on Facebook late on Wednesday that "armed visitors" had entered the city council building.

"I just asked them not to shoot people. We don't have the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the city, only civilians and people who want to LIVE here," he wrote.

He also published a list of rules and advisories for residents to follow, including that civilians "stop at the first request" and "do not fight."

The others are:

  • To only go out into the city during the day.
  • To abide by a 8pm to 6am curfew.
  • Only cars carrying food or medicines can enter the city.
  • Public transport will run so that workers in bakeries, shops, and pharmacies can go to work.
  • Pedestrians must walk one by one or two by two.
  • Cars must drive slowly and consent to searches.

"The flag flying over us is Ukrainian," Kolykhaiev wrote. "And for it to stay that way, these demands must be observed."

Kherson is the first major Ukrainian city to fall under Russian control. As a port city, it is strategically important as it allows Russia to import military equipment into Ukraine via the Black Sea. 

Kherson's regional governor, Hennadiy Laguta, said on Thursday that Russian forces had taken over the region's administration building, Reuters reported.

Ukraine's military told Sky News' Deborah Haynes on Thursday that the city was not totally under Russian control, and that troops were using it as a "temporary base" for units to transfer.

A Kherson resident told Insider's Sinéad Baker hours before the city fell on Wednesday that Russian troops were "everywhere" and that people were too scared to walk outside in case they got shot.

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