Ukraine news LATEST: Putin’s fanatical troops ready ‘for heavy battle’ as desperate Kremlin to defend occupied Kherson

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RUSSIAN forces are digging in for the “heaviest of battles” in occupied territory as the Kremlin looks to defend the largest city under its control in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s ailing forces in the region have been driven back in recent weeks and risk being trapped on the west bank of the Dnipro River where the city of Kherson lies -which has been under occupation since the early days of the Ukraine war.

Russian-installed authorities have been encouraging residents to flee to the east bank, but Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said there was no sign that Russian forces themselves were preparing to abandon the city.

“With Kherson everything is clear. The Russians are replenishing, strengthening their grouping there,” Arestovych said in an online video late on Tuesday.

“It means that nobody is preparing to withdraw. On the contrary, the heaviest of battles is going to take place for Kherson.”

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