Kyiv vows to continue leading Russia from Ukraine after Kherson success

Kyiv vows to continue leading Russia from Ukraine after Kherson success
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Ukraine’s president has vowed to continue pushing Russian forces out of his country after they withdrew from Kherson, leaving behind devastation, hunger and booby traps in the southern Ukrainian city.

The Russian withdrawal from Kherson marked a triumphant step in Ukraine’s retreat from the invasion of Moscow nearly nine months ago. Residents of Kherson hugged and kissed the arriving Ukrainian troops in delightful scenes.

“We will see many more such greetings ‘from Ukrainian soldiers liberating territory under Russian control,’ President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address on Saturday.

He promised the inhabitants of Ukrainian towns and villages still under occupation: “We do not forget anyone; we won’t leave anyone.

Ukraine’s recapture of Kherson was a major setback for the Kremlin and the latest in a series of battlefield embarrassments. It came about six weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Kherson region and three other provinces in southern and eastern Ukraine – in violation of international law – and declared them Russian territory.

The Kremlin announced that its troops had withdrawn across the Dnieper from Kherson on Saturday morning.

Driving towards Kherson from the Mykolaiv region, AP journalists saw downed power lines, spent projectile casings and the decomposing carcass of a cow. Several destroyed tanks lined the muddy road.

As Ukrainian forces consolidated their grip on Kherson on Sunday, authorities faced the daunting task of clearing explosive devices and restoring basic public services in the city.

A Ukrainian official described the situation in Kherson as “a humanitarian catastrophe”. Other townspeople are said to be short of water, medicine and food. There are shortages of basic products like bread due to the lack of electricity.

Ukrainian police have called on residents to help identify collaborators with Russian forces during the eight-month occupation. Ukrainian police returned to the city on Saturday, along with public broadcasting services, after the departure of Russian troops.

A Girl And A Ukrainian Officer Embrace As They Celebrate The Takeover In Kherson, Ukraine,

A girl and a Ukrainian officer embrace as they celebrate the takeover in Kherson, Ukraine.

A Woman Hugs A Ukrainian Officer As They Celebrate The Recapture Of Kherson

Ukraine’s military said it was overseeing “stabilization measures” around the town to ensure it was safe.

A Woman Reacts With Ukrainian Lawmaker And Officer Roman Kostenko As They Celebrate The Resumption In Kherson

A woman gets emotional with Ukrainian lawmaker and officer Roman Kostenko as they celebrate the recapture of Kherson.

Ukraine’s national police chief Ihor Klymenko said on Facebook on Saturday that around 200 officers were at work in the city, setting up checkpoints and documenting evidence of possible war crimes.

In what could be the next district to fall in Ukraine’s march on territory illegally annexed by Moscow, the Russian administration of Kakhovka district, east of the city of Kherson, announced on Saturday that it evacuated its employees.

“Today the administration is the number one target of Ukrainian attacks,” said Moscow-based Kakhovka chief Pavel Filipchuk.

“Therefore, by order of the government of the Kherson region, we as an authority are moving to a safer territory, from where we will rule the district,” he wrote on Telegram.

Kakhovka is located on the left bank of the Dnieper River, upstream from the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.

A Woman Leans On Ukrainian Lawmaker And Officer Roman Kostenko.
Although the city is known in Ukrainian hands, many territories are still under Russian control.

Deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said six people died as a result of Russian shelling on Saturday.

Writing on Telegram on Sunday, he said four people were killed and one injured in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, two were killed in the Kherson region and two injured in the central Dnipropetrovsk region.

In Kherson, photos circulating on social media on Saturday showed Ukrainian activists removing commemorative plaques put up by the occupation authorities. A Telegram post from Yellow Ribbon, the Ukrainian resistance movement in the occupied areas, showed two people in a park removing plaques depicting Soviet-era military figures.

Moscow’s announcement that Russian forces were withdrawing across the Dnieper River, which divides both the Kherson region and Ukraine as a whole, followed a reinforced Ukrainian counteroffensive in southern country. Over the past two months, the Ukrainian army claimed to have taken over dozens of towns and villages north of the city of Kherson, and the army said that is where stabilization activities were taking place.

Ukrainians Wave Flags From Cars In Downtown Kherson As Celebrations Erupt For The City's Takeover.
Ukrainians wave flags from cars in downtown Kherson as celebrations erupt for the city’s takeover.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba sought to temper excitement over Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson.

“We are winning battles on the ground, but the war continues,” he said from Cambodia, where he was attending an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Sunday that a joint statement on the outcome of the summit was not adopted because “the American side and its partners insisted on an unacceptable assessment of the situation in Ukraine and around it”.

The Kremlin is angered by the support Ukraine receives from its Western allies, including the United States.

New York Post

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