Russia's defense minister and a top general told troops to fall back to the eastern bank of the River Dnipro. This seemingly means Russia is ceding control of the regional capital of Kherson.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered his troops to withdraw from the southern city of Kherson on Wednesday, marking a significant retreat for Russia.
The city of Kherson is situated to the north of the Dnipro River on the left bank.
Defense Minister Shoigu and General Sergey Surovikin said that troops should regroup on the other side of the river, as Ukrainian forces advance.
"Having comprehensively assessed the current situation, it is proposed to take up defence along the left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro River," said Surovikin in a televised briefing.
Surovikin said that it was no longer possible to deliver supplies to the city of Kherson and other areas on the left bank of the river; Shoigu agreed with his proposal to retreat and set up defenses on the other side.
"Proceed with the withdrawal of troops and take all measures to ensure the safe transfer of personnel, weapons and equipment across the Dnipro River," Shoigu told Surovikin.
Shoigu was on a visit to the region for briefings with military commanders.
The news coincided with images circulating online showing the Darivka bridge on the highway heading east out of the regional capital almost completely destroyed and lying in the River Dnipro. It was not immediately clear how the bridge had been destroyed or by whom.
Images had also circulated earlier in the week of the regional government building in Kherson apparently without a security presence and without Russian flags visible. However, Kyiv had warned at the time that some of these images might be disinformation or a trap or both.
Surovikin told Shoigu that some 115,000 people had been removed from the western bank of the Dnipro.
Ukraine defines the movement of these people towards Russian occupied territory as deportation.
Kherson is one of the regions Russia recently declared annexed following so-called referendums.
The regional capital of the same name was also the first major city Russia seized following its February 24 invasion. Kherson borders Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.