The withdrawal of Russian forces from the southern city of Kherson in Ukraine is a big blow for Moscow. Kherson was the only major Ukrainian regional capital to fall into Russian hands since the war began.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said on Friday that the southern city of Kherson was “ours” after Russia announced the completion of its troop withdrawal from Kherson. He wrote on the telegram, ‘Our people, our happiness.’
He further wrote, ‘Today is a historic day, we are taking back Khairsoon.’ He said that a special unit of the armed forces was inside Kherson and other Ukrainian troops were coming from nearby areas.
“The people of Kherson are waiting,” Zielinski later said in a video address. They never gave up. The same will happen in the other cities, which are still waiting for us to take them back.”
His announcement came at a time when videos posted on social media showed excited crowds of locals celebrating on the streets. And people are welcoming Ukrainian troops as they enter the city. Ukrainian and European Union flags can also be seen on a monument in Kherson’s main square.
Earlier, Ukrainian intelligence spokesman Andrei Yusov told the Associated Press news agency that “operations are underway to liberate Kherson and the surrounding area of the same name.”
Russia’s withdrawal is a major blow to Moscow, as the city of Kherson was the only Ukrainian regional capital to fall into Russian hands since the start of the war. The region is also a strategically important gateway to Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Koliba said, “Ukraine is currently winning another important victory and proving that no matter what Russia says or does, the victory will ultimately be Ukraine’s.” Called the recapture an ‘unusual event’ for Ukraine.
“Ukrainian citizens seem to have won an extraordinary victory, a regional capital that was captured during the war, now flying the Ukrainian flag again,” said Jack Sullivan, US national security adviser. Is.”
Conflicting reports on Russian withdrawal
Before Ukrainian forces entered Kherson, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that all forces had been withdrawn. It said that 30,000 troops had been moved to the left bank of the Dnieper River and that no Russian soldiers were killed in the operation and ‘not a single piece of military equipment was left there.’
But Ukraine’s intelligence unit denied this in a tweet, saying more than half of the Russian forces stationed on the right bank of the river were still there. Moscow announced earlier this week that it planned to withdraw its troops from the right bank of the Dnipro River, where Kherson is located.
Ukrainian officials, however, expressed doubts about the announcement and said that the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson could take several days, if not weeks.
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