Kherson: Ukrainian troops enter the city after the withdrawal of Russia west of the Dnipro



Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukrainian forces entered the western end of City of Khersonaccording to images on social networks geotagged by CNN, following the withdrawal of Russian troops.

The arrival of the Ukrainian army on Friday in the regional capital comes after Russia withdrew from the region west of the Dnipro River, marking one of the biggest military setbacks for the Kremlin since the start of the war.

In the footage, Ukrainian troops can be seen surrounded by residents of the Shumenskyi district of the city of Kherson. Citizens also flooded the city’s central square, waving and waving Ukrainian flags, in other images geotagged by CNN.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday that Russian forces have completed their withdrawal from Ukraine’s Kherson region west of the Dnipro, including the city of Kherson, after Moscow ordered a partial retirement of the region on Wednesday,

“In the direction of Kherson, the movement of Russian military units to the left bank of the Dnieper was completed at 05:00 [Moscow time] this morning,” the ministry said on its official Telegram channel.

“Not a single piece of military equipment or armament was left on the right bank,” the statement said, referring to the west bank of the river. “All Russian military moved to the left bank of the Dnieper” – the Russian spelling of the river.

A local Ukrainian official in the region told CNN on Friday that he could “neither confirm nor deny” whether Russian forces have withdrawn from the city of Kherson.

“We keep the ‘information silent’ mode,” said Yuriy Sobolevskyi, first deputy head of Ukraine’s Kherson regional council. “We do not comment on the Ukrainian military movement or the enemy military movement.”

Images and videos posted on social media on Friday also showed that the Antonivskyi Bridge, the main conduit over the Dnipro in the Kherson region, had been destroyed.

Alexander Kots, a journalist with the pro-government Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda embedded with Russian forces, posted a video on his Telegram channel standing on the crossing, showing the entire central section of the bridge destroyed.

“Behind me are the two collapsed spans (of) the bridge,” Kots said. “They probably exploded during the withdrawal of the group of Russian forces from the right bank to the left”, or from the west bank to the east bank.

An image circulating on social media on Friday showed a Ukrainian flag in the center of Kherson, although there is no suggestion that the Ukrainian military is still in the city.

Sobolevskyi, the Ukrainian official, also refused to confirm the veracity of social media images of the Ukrainian flag in downtown Kherson.

“I can’t confirm this is a real photo,” he said. “But I can say that this is Svobody Square (Freedom Square), where all the rallies against the occupation took place. The Resistance movement was there in Kherson all the time, since the beginning of the occupation. People showed their patriotic attitude with patriotic graffiti, ribbons, flags, etc.

Ukrainian residents of a town on the western outskirts of the city of Kherson raised a Ukrainian flag and tore down Russian propaganda billboards, according to social media videos geotagged by CNN.

The videos come from the town of Bilozerka, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of the city of Kherson.

A video shows a Ukrainian flag flying above a World War II memorial. Another shows locals tearing down propaganda billboards with a young girl holding a Russian flag, which read: “Russia is here forever.”

Kyiv officials have warned that the withdrawal of Russian troops could turn the regional capital of Kherson into a “city of death” leaving.

An official in southern Ukraine warned residents on Friday to be wary of a quick return to territory recently liberated due to the threat of mines.

“There are a lot of mines in the liberated territories and settlements,” Vitaliy Kim, head of the Mykolaiv region’s military administration, said on Telegram. “Don’t go there for no reason. There are victims.

Kherson was one of four Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Russia in September.

On Friday, the Kremlin spokesman insisted the region was still part of Russia, despite a declared intention to partially withdraw.

“It’s a subject of the Russian Federation,” Dmitry Peskov said during a regular briefing with reporters. “It has been legally fixed and defined. There can be no change here.

Russia still controls much of the Kherson region – the area east of the Dnipro River.

Asked directly if Russia’s retreat was “humiliating” for President Vladimir Putin, Peskov replied, “No.”

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