The Russian military has been ordered to withdraw from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, the only regional capital it has occupied since the invasion began in February.
According to the BBC, the Russian commander in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, said it was no longer possible to continue supplying the city.
The withdrawal means that Russian forces will be completely withdrawn from the west bank of the Dnipro River.
As the BBC estimates, this is a significant blow as Russia faces a Ukrainian counter-offensive.
“Under these circumstances, the most reasonable option is to organize defense along a barrier line along the Dnipro River,” General Surovikin was quoted as saying at a meeting of senior military leaders.
The announcement came shortly after Russian media said Kherson’s deputy mayor, Kirill Stremousov, had been killed in a car crash.
Seen as one of the main instigators of the occupation of Kherson, he had warned just six days earlier that it was “more likely” that Russian forces would cross over to the east coast.
Although the Ukrainian advance had slowed in recent weeks, Russia’s supply lines across the Dnipro had become increasingly difficult after several bridges across the Dnipro River were destroyed by Ukrainian missiles.
Before the withdrawal, Russia moved thousands of civilians out of the city by boat, in what Ukraine condemned as a forced eviction.