Kherson’s Russian-installed government said on Monday that it was forming armed formations out of some local guys.
The occupation authorities said in a Telegram message that men who freely chose to stay in Kherson had the “option” to join territorial defense forces.
However, in the past, men in other occupied parts of Ukraine, like Donetsk, have been forced to enlist in and fight in the forces of Russia’s proxies in the conflict with Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week declared martial law in the occupied regions, empowering their Russian-installed administrations to step up mobilisation.
Compelling civilians to serve in the armed forces of an occupying power is defined as a breach of the Geneva Conventions on conduct in war.
Russian authorities have ordered civilians to evacuate from Kherson, one of four Ukrainian regions Russia said it had annexed last month even as Kyiv’s forces have made significant military gains.
In response to Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Russia and its agents in Kherson have increased the urgency of their exhortations to flee.
Sergei Kravtsov, the education minister, urged people to preserve their lives in a video message on Sunday.
Around 25,000 people have been evacuated since Tuesday, mostly by boat across the Dnipro River, according to authorities’ statements over the weekend.