Home USA News After the success in Kherson, Kyiv promises to continue pushing back Russia

After the success in Kherson, Kyiv promises to continue pushing back Russia

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MYKOLAEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president has vowed to continue pushing Russian troops out of his country after they withdrew from the…

MYKOLAEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president has vowed to continue pushing Russian troops out of his country after they pulled out of Kherson, leaving behind devastation, hunger and landmines in the southern Ukrainian city.

The retreat of the Russians from Kherson was noted a triumphant milestone in Ukraine’s resistance to Moscow’s invasion almost nine months ago. The people of Kherson hugged and kissed the arrived Ukrainian soldiers in rapturous scenes.

“We will see many more such greetings” by Ukrainian soldiers liberating Russian-controlled territory, President Vladimir Zelensky said in his late-night video message on Saturday.

He promised the people in the Ukrainian towns and villages still under occupation: “We do not forget anyone; we will not leave anyone behind.”

Ukraine’s recapture of Kherson was a significant setback for the Kremlin and the latest in a series of troubles on the battlefield. It comes about six weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Kherson Oblast and three other regions in southern and eastern Ukraine in violation of international law and declared them Russian territory.

As Ukrainian troops tightened their grip on Kherson on Sunday, authorities faced the daunting task of disarming explosive devices and restoring basic utilities in the city.

One Ukrainian official called the situation in Kherson a “humanitarian disaster.” The rest of the city’s residents lack water, medicine and food. Due to the lack of electricity, staple foods such as bread are in short supply.

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

The head of Ukraine’s national police, Ihar Klymenko, said on Facebook on Saturday that about 200 officers are working in the city, setting up blackout posts and documenting evidence of possible war crimes.

The Russian-appointed administration of the Kakhovsky district, east of the city of Kherson, on Saturday announced the evacuation of its employees, which could become the next district to fall into Ukraine’s march into territory illegally annexed by Moscow.

“Today, the administration is the number one target for Ukrainian attacks,” said Pavel Filipchuk, head of Kakhovka installed by Moscow.

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

Kakhovka is located on the left bank of the Dnieper, upstream of Kakhovskaya HPP.

Meanwhile, the upstream town of Nikopol was heavily shelled at night, the chairman of the Dnipropetrovsk regional council Mykola Lukashuk said on Sunday.

In Telegram, he said that two women were injured, but in a stable condition in hospital. One private residential house and two farm buildings were destroyed, more than 40 residential houses, more than 24 farm buildings, a college, the registry office and power lines were damaged.

According to Lukashuk, the town of Morganets also came under fire. Two private houses were damaged, no one was injured. Nikopol and Morganets lie on the other side of the Dnieper from the Zaporizhzhya NPP, the largest in Europe.

In Kherson, photos on social networks on Saturday show Ukrainian activists removing memorial plaques installed by the occupying authorities. A Telegram post by Yellow Ribbon, a Ukrainian resistance movement in the occupied territories, shows two people in a park taking down signs with images of Soviet-era soldiers.

Moscow’s announcement that Russian troops are withdrawing across the Dnieper River, which separates the Kherson region from Ukraine as a whole, came after Ukraine’s counter-offensive intensified in the south of the country. Over the past two months, the Ukrainian military has claimed to have retaken dozens of towns and villages north of the city of Kherson, and the military has said that stabilization efforts are underway there.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, tried to allay concerns 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 a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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

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

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Lester reported from Kiev, Ukraine.

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