In a move to deny the seizure of the body of Grigory Potemkin by Ukrainian Forces, his remains have been removed by Russian forces from the St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Kherson city, Ukraine. He has been interned there since at least the early 1800s. This announcement also comes as Kherson city administrators told press that 75,000 civilians have been moved to the West bank of the Dnieper River and that military forces continue to evacuate the city in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. While the lines have been relatively static in the last 48 hours, the Russian administrators expect that Ukrainian forces are simply reconstituting before a massive push that they expect will break the two Russian defensive lines.
Prince Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin-Tauricheski (October 11th, 1739– October 16th, 1791), was a Russian military leader, statesman, nobleman, and favorite and possible lover of Catherine the Great. He died during negotiations over the Treaty of Jassy, which ended a war with the Ottoman Empire that he had overseen. Potemkin led the war against the Ottoman Empire from 1768-1774 in which Imperial Russia annexed Crimea and captured Odessa, which he redesigned to be a Russian city. He also built the city of Kherson and designed it personally, planning to headquarter the Black Sea Fleet there, which he also drew plans to create.
Potemkin’s grave was opened and revered by the Bolsheviks due to his military successes despite being an Imperial figure.
This development is another indicator that the Russian Federation will most likely abandon Kherson City which has become a liability for Russian forces in the Oblast due to its lack of bridging across the Dnieper River (at the hands of Ukrainian artillery). An encirclement and siege of the city could ensue if Russian forces are pushed into the city lines. However, the Black Sea Fleet could break such a siege with naval gunfire support and ferrying operations to the West bank if it came to that.