A Ukrainian soldier deployed on the Kherson front to support to the Ukrainian army in Kherson Oblast on November 5, 2022.
Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Russian troops entered Kherson on Friday after Russian forces retreated in the night.
It’s a huge blow to Putin, as Kherson was his biggest prize in the war.
Ukraine warned Russia is likely still planning a fight there, with mines and possibly hidden troops.
Ukrainian troops entered the key city of Kherson on Friday in a new humiliation for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It followed a public declaration of retreat from Russian officials, who left the city after steady advances by the Ukrainian military.
Kherson had been a strategic and symbolic prize for Russia since it fell in the first days of its invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
In September, The New York Times reported that Putin personally forbade his generals from giving the city up.
Russia installed a proxy regional government there and worked to erase its Ukrainian identity. It formally declared Kherson and its wider region to a part of Russia in a widely-condemned annexation that also covered three other regions.
On Friday it became clear that Russia was no longer in control. CNN geo-located images of the Ukrainian military that were shared on social media, placing the soldiers as having entered the western edge of Kherson on Friday.
Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko tweeted on Friday: “Ukrainian Army is already in Kherson! Slava Ukraine!” (The expression broadly translates to “glory to Ukraine.”)
Images also appeared to show Ukrainian troops in the city’s western Korabelnyi district on Friday, The Guardian reported.
Goncharenko said that locals were celebrating the arrival of the military: “they run to hug, give flowers and thank for the release,” he said.
Ukrainian officials shared pictures that they said showed Ukrainian flags raised in downtown Kherson, where Russian flags had been flying earlier in the war.
CNN reported that locals in a town around six miles from Kherson city tore down a billboard that had the Russian flag and which said “Russia is here forever.”
A battle for Kherson had been looming for weeks as Ukrainian forces moved closer.
But then Russia’s defense minister announced on Wednesday that Russia’s forces would withdraw from the city across the river.
A map showing where the city of Kherson is in relation to the Dnipro river.
It is not clear if all of Russia’s soldiers have left, however, …read more
Source:: Business Insider