Thursday, 01 Dec 2022

Ukraine carries out stabilisation of Kherson after night of jubilation

Ukraine carries out stabilisation of Kherson after night of jubilation

Ukraine carries out stabilisation of Kherson after night of jubilation

Ukraine carried out "stabilisation measures" near Kherson on Saturday after the city was retaken by Ukrainian forces, as people across the country awoke after a night of jubilation.

Hundreds of citizens flooded the city streets on Saturday morning after an eight-month occupation, embracing Ukrainian soldiers and foreign journalists after what has been described as a "historic day" for Kyiv - and perhaps the most important strategic breakthrough since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

However, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, cautioned that while special military units had reached Kherson city, a full deployment to reinforce the advance troops was still under way - a reminder that about 70% of the Kherson region remains under Russian control.

"We are winning battles on the ground, but the war continues," said the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, from Cambodia, where he was attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

For Russia, the liberation of Kherson marked the latest, and most serious, of a string of battlefield defeats. Images of Russian infantry scrambling to escape over the Dnipro River using a soon-to-be-destroyed pontoon in the morning mist have been widely circulated, and Russia's defence ministry said it had withdrawn about 30,000 troops.

The retreat came six weeks after the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, had announced the annexation of Kherson and three other regions at a high-profile ceremony in Moscow.

The Kremlin announced on Saturday that it was shifting the "capital" of Kherson's pro-Russian regional government to Henichesk, a sleepy seaside port city on the Sea of Azov. In spring, Moscow erected a statue of Lenin on a plinth outside the municipal town hall, while in the meantime, in Kherson, people are already removing Russian symbols and any traces of the occupiers' stay from the streets and buildings.

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