Volodomir Zelensky spoke after Russia's withdrawal: “Kherson is ours”

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The President of Ukraine published a message after troops from kyiv entered the city in the south of the country that was abandoned by Moscow

 Volodomir Zelensky spoke after Russia's withdrawal: “Kherson is ours”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on social media on Friday that the southern city of Kherson was “ours” after Russia announced that it had completed its withdrawal from the regional center.

“Our people. Our. Kherson”, Zelensky wrote on Telegram alongside an emoji of a Ukrainian flag and an amateur video that appeared to show Ukrainian troops meeting with city residents.

Ukrainian troops entered this Friday in the southern city of Kherson, where the blue and yellow flag was flown again shortly after the Russian Army completed its withdrawal from the right bank of the Dnieper River.

Whatever Russia does, Ukraine will win”, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

kyiv thus abandoned the initial skepticism with which it received the news of the Russian withdrawal two days ago and claimed victory in Kherson , the largest it has had in almost nine months of the Russian military intervention.

The flag returns to Kherson

 Volodomir Zelensky spoke after Russia's withdrawal: “Kherson is ours”

FILE PHOTO. A Ukrainian military man walks past a building damaged during a Russian missile attack in the village of Novooleksandrivka, in the Kherson region of Ukraine. November 9, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Simultaneously, Ukrainian officials, journalists and bloggers began to publish images of the city of Kherson and other towns in the region where the Ukrainian flag is already flying.

In particular, these images were broadcast on the social networks of the Ukrainian Parliament. The kyiv Department of Defense also published images with citizens of Kherson receiving the first soldiers who carried the national flag in their hands.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Military Intelligence issued a statement in Russian announcing that “Kherson is back in Ukraine's control” and the city's withdrawal routes are within range of its artillery fire.

“Any attempts to resist the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be repelled. Any Russian soldier who resists will be annihilated,” warned the military, who questioned the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and called on the enemy forces that presumably remain in the area to “surrender immediately.”

Withdrawal in less than 48 hours

Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense gave in its daily report details of the withdrawal from Kherson, which, according to the official version, was completed in less than 48 hours.

“Today, at five in the morning Moscow time (02:00 GMT), on the Kherson front, the transfer of Russian units to the left bank of the Dnieper River was completed,” military spokesman Igor Konashénkov announced.

The Russian general specified that “not a single piece” of the military had remained in the place of withdrawal, to avoid criticism such as that faced by the military for leaving a large quantity of weapons after a chaotic withdrawal from the eastern region of Kharkov, last September. .

In total, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, more than 30,000 Russian soldiers left north of Kherson to be deployed in defensive positions previously erected on the left bank of the largest river from Ukraine.

In parallel, images of the destroyed Antonovski Bridge over the Dnieper, the only land route for leaving the city of Kherson on foot, were leaked on social networks.

Moscow rules out giving up the annexation

Despite the entry of the Ukrainians into Kherson, Moscow rules out giving up the city and the northern part of the homonymous province, which was annexed by Russia in September.

“He is a subject of the Russian Federation. This is coined and defined by law, there can be no change here,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said.

Asked whether the Kremlin does not regret the pomp with which The annexation of Kherson was celebrated, Peskov answered succinctly: “No”.

He also reiterated that “the special military operation” in Ukraine is still underway and will continue until it achieves its objectives.

Former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, author of several controversial statements about the Russian military campaign, also assured this Friday that “the concept of territorial sovereignty has not disappeared” and that “everything will return home, to the Russian Federation.”

Civilians, between two fires

Konashénkov assured that Russia has evacuated all civilians – more than 115,000 – who have decided to leave the right bank of the Dnieper, the largest river in Ukraine.

Although the pro-Russian authorities of the regional capital estimated today at 80,000-100,000 the number of people who still remain in the city, the only regional capital that Russia had taken since the beginning of its military campaign in Ukraine.

“The evacuation continues. According to our calculations, there are between 80,000 and 100,000 people in Kherson still,” said pro-Russian mayor Alexandr Kobets.

After the news broke, Kobets assured that local authorities still have “all the options” to organize the exit of the city for citizens who want to leave.

“We have options for displacement”, he said when asked about the Antonovski bridge blowing up.

At the same time, according to Ukrainian social networks, several locals chose to take to the streets to receive the Ukrainian troops at different points in Kherson who are retaking the territories abandoned by the Russians.

(With information from EFE)

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