Ukrainian troops enter Kherson after retreating from Russia

Buildings damaged during a battle between Ukrainian and Russian occupation forces on a road in a village in Kherson, Ukraine on October 30 Occupying forces line up on a road in a village in Kherson, Ukraine, on October 30. Carl Court/Getty Images Moscow and Kyiv — Ukrainian forces have entered the southern city of Kherson after Russia’s confirmed withdrawal of troops from strategic cities, which is likely to cause major setbacks. Because of President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday that the remaining troops moved from Kherson to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River at the beginning of Friday, on the other side “with no military equipment or weapons left”. The Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Agency later confirmed that Ukrainian forces had entered the city of Kherson. “Kherson is under Ukrainian control and Ukrainian troops are entering the city,” the agency wrote on Facebook. The institution was also abandoned by military leadership and urged Russian soldiers still in Kherson to surrender. They suggested that their rights would be protected under a program called “I want to live.” “Your commander has ordered you to dress as a civilian and run independently from Kherson. Obviously you will not succeed.” Unconfirmed videos and photos have been circulating online since early Friday morning, including rejoicing locals in nearby towns celebrating liberation with Ukrainian flags hoisted atop Kherson city administration buildings and police headquarters. Several videos showed Ukrainians tearing up a Russian billboard that read “Russia is here forever.” The announcement of Russia’s withdrawal comes amid reports of the destruction of a lonely bridge in the region that crosses the Dnipro. A video shared online showed that a significant portion of his leg had been completely amputated. Russian and Ukrainian officials exchanged allegations as to who was responsible for the damage. Earlier this week, commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin, proposed a plan to withdraw from Kherson while reporting to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on state TV. In what appeared to be carefully prepared remarks, Surovikin said the decision to withdraw to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River was “difficult” but would allow Russia to save the lives of its soldiers and preserve Russia’s combat capabilities. Shoigu agreed and gave the order. The initial announcement has sparked skepticism from the Ukrainian government, who previously expressed concerns that the withdrawal of Russian troops from the city of Kherson could be a Kremlin maneuver to lure Ukrainian troops into the city. Ukrainian Defense Minister Olexi Rezhnikov told Reuters on Thursday that he believes it will take “at least a week” for Russian troops to leave the city and that Moscow still has about 40,000 troops in the area. Russia’s withdrawal is widely believed to have hurt Putin’s war efforts in Ukraine. The city was the first and only major city occupied by Russian forces since the Russian invasion began in February. In September, Putin presided over a lavish Kremlin ceremony, claiming that the larger Kherson region and three other Ukrainian territories were illegally annexed into the Russian Federation, the lands now “permanent” of Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that Russia still retains the territory legally despite the surrender of Kherson to Ukrainian forces. “There can be no change here,” Peskov said. Charles Maynes reported from Moscow and Ashley Westerman from Kyiv.
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