Russian forces are stepping up their efforts to make life unbearable for civilians across the occupied southern Kherson region, where power was cut on Sunday night and Ukrainian officials warned that Russian troops were mining critical infrastructure even as they dig in to fight for their last bridgehead west of the Dnipro River, The New York Times report.

Read also: Russia is increasing pressure to deport Ukrainian civilians from the occupied Kherson region.

The battle for Kherson City — the only regional capital to be captured by Moscow since the invasion in late February — has been looming for months. A Ukrainian counteroffensive launched at the end of August has reclaimed over 100 towns and villages and steadily closed in on Kherson while also pounding Russian supply routes, command centers and ammunition depots far from the front.

As Ukrainian forces advanced, the Kremlin-appointed authorities for Kherson ordered the “evacuation” of all civilians last month — a move that Ukrainian officials said was less about saving lives and more about clearing space for newly mobilized Russian troops to occupy. Since then, Russian forces have been destroying critical infrastructure, shuttering essential services and looting the city, according to residents and Ukrainian officials.