Russian troops are leaving mines in southern Ukrainian villages as they retreat along the western bank of the Dnieper River, the Ukrainian military said on Wednesday.
“Leaving the settlements in the Kherson region, the enemy mines infrastructure facilities and private houses, prohibits any movement of local residents,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its morning briefing.
It comes as Ukrainian forces have made additional gains in the south, pushing toward the occupied city of Kherson and capturing the town of Zolota Balka on the western bank of the Dnipro river, according to a regional official and pro-Russian military blogger.
Conscription claims: The Ukrainian Armed Forces also claimed Wednesday that pro-Russian authorities in occupied areas of Ukraine were “trying to compensate for the loss of personnel” on the battlefield by conscripting Ukrainians into the Russian military.
“According to the available information, men from Luhansk, without conducting a medical commission and training, after mobilization are immediately sent to replenish the units that suffered the greatest losses,” the General Staff said.
Ukrainian officials have been warning for some time that Russia planned to use its claimed annexations as a pretext to draft Ukrainians in occupied areas.
On Monday, the Ukrainian military said Russian troops were carrying out “door-to-door” checks in occupied areas of Ukraine, looking for young men of conscription age, adding that Moscow had stepped up document inspections at checkpoints.