Russian leader says ‘everything is fine’ in Ukraine as he’s seen fleeing in car

A Russian leader planted by the Kremlin into the occupied territory of Kherson has told residents that “everything is fine” – while sitting in a car full of his belongings, seemingly fleeing the area.

Kirill Stermousov was placed into the area after Russia annexed it during its invasion of Ukraine.

But Ukraine has made gains in the area, and looks set to return the city back in Ukrainian hands in the next few weeks.

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This forced Stremousov – a Ukraine native who is wanted in Ukraine for treason, having previously been a Ukrainian politician – into filming a selfie video in his car giving a message to the civilians in the city, which at parts told them not to leave while also telling them to leave.

He said: “The situation in the city of Kherson is stable, while everything is in order.

“The life support of the city is at a normal level on the front line.

“There are attempts to leave, but do not leave.

“Everything is under control, and further information regarding the evacuation is coming but I once again recommend to all residents in Kherson, and those who still remain on the right-bank part of the Kherson region should remain.”

He went on to detail recent damage done by – he claims – the Ukrainian army via rocket fire in the area.

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Showing bombed buildings, he adds: “No one was hurt, but the administration building of the Holocaust Museum was completely destroyed.

“While we keep everything under control, I beg you, all of the residents of Kherson, to evacuate.

However, despite the message, he filmed the video in a car full of bags of clothes and belongings – seemingly ready to flee at a moments notice.

Francis Scarr, from BBC Monitoring, tweeted: “Why does he appear to be in his car with all his belongings in the back?”
And another wrote: “You can take the person out of Kherson, but you can't separate him from his washing.”

A third added: “If you forget for a second the tragedy of the whole thing, scenes like this one do make for great comedy.”

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