Russian administrators leave second city of Ukraine's Kherson region

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Civil servants working for the Russian-installed administration in Nova Kakhovka, the second-largest city in Ukraine's southern Kherson region, have left along with thousands of residents due to fighting, officials said on Tuesday.

The city lies on the east bank of the Dnipro river, next to the huge Kakhovka dam, which both Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling. It also adjoins the town of Tavriisk at the mouth of the North Crimean Canal, a crucial source of fresh water to the arid Crimean peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

"After the well-known events of Nov. 11, when Russian troops were ordered to withdraw from the right (west) bank of Kherson region, Nova Kakhovka found itself under direct fire from large-calibre artillery and mortars of the armed forces of Ukraine," the city's Russian-installed administration said.

"Indiscriminate fire from the left bank of the Dnipro has made life in the city unsafe ... Thousands of Nova Kakhovka residents responded to the call of the Kherson regional administration to protect their lives and left their homes.

"Employees of the Military-Civilian Administration of Nova Kakhovka, state and municipal institutions also left the city and were relocated to safe places in the region."

Reuters was unable to verify the statement.

Since Russia's withdrawal from Kherson city and areas to the west of the Dnipro last week, attention has focused on Russian-controlled towns and settlements on the east bank.

Russia has already asked civilians to leave areas of Kherson province within 15 km (nine miles) of the Dnipro's eastern bank, and says its forces have taken up defensive positions on that side of the river.

Images published on social media on Tuesday appeared to show Russian troops had left the town of Oleshky, directly across the Dnipro from the city of Kherson, suggesting that one of the war's biggest retreats may not have ended at the water's edge.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has told world leaders there will be no let-up in Ukraine's military campaign to drive out Russian troops after the recapture of Kherson - the only regional capital Russia had held since it invaded almost nine months ago.

Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey/Guy Faulconbridge

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