Russia's military has begun conducting a census in parts of occupied territory in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, according to the Ukrainian mayor-in-exile of the city of Melitopol.
"Over the past few days, the Russians have been in a fuss," Ivan Fedorov said in a televised broadcast Friday. "First, they were taking the wounded out of the hospital. Then they started a census in the towns of Mykhailivka and Burchak to allegedly prepare for evacuation."
Melitopol has been occupied by Russian forces since the early days of the invasion and analysts have suggested the next offensive front for Ukrainian forces was likely to be a thrust southward toward the city.
Fedorov added that hospitals in the cities of Tokmak and Mykhailivka were also "turned into military hospitals for Russian forces."
"[Russians] are massively treating thousands of their wounded there," Fedrov said. "Only one hospital in Melitopol city, an ambulance hospital, provides assistance to civilians."
New Russian military bases had also been set up, he claimed, noting there were now "tens of thousands of Russian manpower in the territory of Melitopol."
Last month, Fedorov highlighted difficulties civilians faced to leave the city.
It comes after the Ukrainian military claimed some Russian troops are withdrawing from their positions in the Zaporizhzhia region. CNN is unable to confirm the claims made by the General Staff.