December 2, 2022

Ukrainian troops enter Kherson after Russia retreats: NPR

A Ukrainian soldier sits on a captured Russian mortar shell in Blahotatne village, which was recovered by Ukrainian armed forces in the Kherson region on Friday. Ukraine’s president said special forces had entered the city of Kherson and other troops were approaching.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters


Hide title

Change the title

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

A Ukrainian soldier sits on a captured Russian mortar shell in Blahotatne village, which was recovered by Ukrainian armed forces in the Kherson region on Friday. Ukraine’s president said special forces had entered the city of Kherson and other troops were approaching.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

KYIV and MOSCOW – In a significant victory for Ukraine, Ukrainian soldiers began entering Kherson on Friday after the Russian withdrawal from the strategic city.

“Today is a historic day. We are taking back Kherson,” said the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky. said in a video address.

He said special units of the army were already in the city and more troops were on their way.

Videos shared on social media by Zelenskyy and other officials and citizens He showed the crowd Celebrating in the street chanting “ZSU! ZSU!” – Ukrainian initials for the country’s armed forces.

Ukraine’s recapture of the key southern city marked a major setback for Russia six weeks after Russian President Vladimir. Putin declared illegal The vast Kherson region and three other territories were incorporated into the Russian Federation.

Kherson was the only city captured since Russia launched its large-scale invasion in February.

Putin has been silent ever since The Chief of Defense announced The last Russian troops left the city of Kherson early Friday morning.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted Russia still maintains a legal hold on the territory following the withdrawal. “There can be no change here,” Peskov said Friday.

Ukrainians tear down Russian signs

Since early Friday morning, unconfirmed videos and photos of the presence of the Ukrainian flag have surfaced online Built on top of the Kherson city administration building And Police HeadquartersAlso the locals in nearby villages are happy Celebrating freedom. Several videos appeared showing Ukrainians tearing down Russian billboards that read “Russia is always here.”

“Even if the city has not yet been completely cleansed of the enemy’s presence,” Zelensky said in his speech, “the people of Kherson are already removing Russian symbols from the streets and buildings, and there are no traces of the occupiers’ stay in Kherson.”

The Security Intelligence Service of Ukraine said it was Guarantee of rights Abandoned Russian soldiers who surrendered under the “I want to live” program.

A bridge over the Dnipro was damaged

A satellite image of the Antonivsky Bridge crossing the Dnipro River near Kherson on Friday.

Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies


Hide title

Change the title

Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

A satellite image of the Antonivsky Bridge crossing the Dnipro River near Kherson on Friday.

Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

The Russian retreated Among the reports Severe damage to the Antonievsky Bridge – the only road in the region crossing the Dnipro. Satellite images released by Maxer Technologies show that part of the bridge has been completely cut off.

Russian and Ukrainian officials blamed each other for the damage.

Earlier this week, the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, Gen. Sergei Surovikhin, proposed. Plans to withdraw From Kherson during a statement to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on national television.

In carefully staged remarks, Surovikin called the decision to return to the east bank of the Dnipro River “difficult,” but one that would allow Russia to save the lives of military personnel and preserve Russia’s combat capability.

Shoigu agreed and ordered.

The initial announcement was made Suspicion from the Ukrainian governmentEarlier there were concerns that the troop withdrawal could be a Kremlin ploy to draw Ukrainian forces into the city.

Buildings damaged during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian occupation forces line a village road in Kherson, Ukraine, October 30.

Carl Kort/Getty Images


Hide title

Change the title

Carl Kort/Getty Images

Buildings damaged during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian occupation forces line a village road in Kherson, Ukraine, October 30.

Carl Kort/Getty Images

On Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told Reuters He believed it would take “at least a week” for Russian forces to leave the city and that Moscow still had 40,000 troops in the area.

But the Russians completed their withdrawal across the river from the city of Kherson within 48 hours of announcing the move.

The Russian pull is widely believed Putin’s war effort in Ukraine would be a blow – underlined by the Russian leader’s continued silence on backing down.

Charles Manns reported from Moscow and Ashley Westerman from Kiev.