Ukrainian soldiers have already entered the outskirts of the city of Kherson, a local official said, the day after the announcement of the withdrawal of Russian troops from the port city located in southern Ukraine. Meanwhile, residents raised the Ukrainian flag in the middle of town. On the other hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 40 localities have been liberated from Russian occupation.
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The Ukrainians officially announced that the city of Kherson was again under their control
UPDATE 16:10 Ukraine’s military intelligence services (GRU) officially announced on Friday that the city of Kherson was back under Ukrainian control, according to The Guardian.
The GRU addressed the Russian soldiers remaining on the right bank of the Dnieper, warning them that they could escape the city if they disguised themselves as civilians, and asked them to surrender.
“Any attempt to oppose the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be stopped. Every Russian soldier who resists will be destroyed. You have the only chance to avoid death – surrender immediately,” read the statement issued by the GRU.
UPDATE 15:50 Images on social media appear to show Ukrainian troops arriving in central Kherson, a few meters from Svobody Square, where the Ukrainian flag was raised by supporters on Friday.
The soldiers are greeted with joy by the waiting crowd.
Russian troops have completed their withdrawal from the Kherson region
UPDATE 12.54 Russian forces have completed their withdrawal from the Kherson region, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday, quoted by CNN.
“From the direction of Kherson, the movement of Russian military units to the left bank of the Dnieper ended at 05:00. [ora Moscovei] this morning,” the ministry said on its official Telegram channel.
“No piece of military equipment or armament was left on the right bank. All Russian soldiers moved to the left bank of the Dnieper,” the statement said.
The strategic Antonovsky bridge collapsed
UPDATE 12.50 The Antonovsky Bridge, the only link between the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and the Russian-held east bank of the Dnieper, has collapsed, according to residents quoted by Ukrainian state radio.
Suspilne posted a photo showing entire sections of the bridge missing. The next crossing of the Dnieper River is more than 70 kilometers from the city of Kherson, reports The Guardian.
Ukrainians raise the country’s flag in Kherson
UPDATE 10.55 The Ukrainian flag is flying again in the center of Kherson after the withdrawal of Russian forces, according to images circulating on social networks.
The residents of the city are the ones who raised the flag, waiting for the Ukrainian army, which is already on the outskirts of Kherson.
At least six dead in Russian attack on residential building in Nikolaev
UPDATE 10.50 At least six people were killed and several injured overnight from Thursday to Friday in a Russian missile attack on a residential building in the town of Nikolaev (Mikolaiv) in southern Ukraine, regional authorities said , reports AFP.
“In a cynical response by the (Russian) terrorist state to our success at the front, Mikolaiv again came under enemy rocket fire. One of the rockets hit a five-storey residential building, which was completely destroyed,” regional administration chief Vitalii Kim announced on Telegram, maintaining an upwardly revised provisional toll of at least five dead and several injured.
The city’s mayor, Oleksandr Senkevici, announced six dead and mentioned that rescuers were still searching among the rubble, according to Reuters.
The first images from the Ukrainian rescue services show the building with a large hole in the middle and members of the rescue teams moving through the rubble at night.
This attack comes as Ukraine announced on Thursday that it had liberated several villages in the Kherson region, in an area of around 100 kilometers, where Moscow confirmed that it had completed its withdrawal.
According to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, these are “41 villages” taken over in the region where a Ukrainian counter-offensive began in October.
Nikolaev is about 35 km northwest of Kherson.
Zelensky announces that 40 localities have been liberated
UPDATE 08.18 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had liberated 41 settlements as they advanced in the south of the country. He added that there had been casualties among Ukrainian soldiers, but did not specify the number.
“Today we have good news from the south,” the Ukrainian president said in his daily video address.
“But although we are happy, we must remember now and forever what this movement means – every step of our defense forces represents… lives given for the freedom of Ukrainians,” he added. , according to Agerpres.
Zelensky also said Ukrainian troops recaptured more than 40 settlements around the city of Kherson as Russian troops retreated.
“The number of Ukrainian flags returned to their rightful place as part of the ongoing defense operation already numbers in the tens,” said the Ukrainian president, who however warned that Russian forces had left behind “thousands bombs and unexploded ordnance”.
About 170,000 square kilometers of the country are covered with mines, estimated the Ukrainian head of state.
Ukrainians have reached the outskirts of Kherson
Nikolaev Provincial Governor Vitali Kim said Shiornobaiivka was already under Ukrainian control. However, he declined to give further details.
“We continue to be silent because this is a military matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, the General Staff of Ukraine said that the Russian army was slowly withdrawing only to strengthen its defensive lines on the other bank of the Dnieper.
According to information provided by Reuters citing local media, Russian troops retreating from Kherson blew up part of a television center and damaged the city’s heating and electricity infrastructure.
“Today during the day, Russian troops blew up the broadcasting center of Kherson TV,” the IMI website reported, citing residents. “According to our contacts, the (television) tower remained intact.”
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the Russians were destroying communications infrastructure.
“The Russian Federation is looting our museums in the temporarily occupied territories, removing Wi-Fi routers from homes and physically abusing our people. This is hopeless civilizational regression,” she wrote on Telegram.
Kherson region governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said on Telegram that Russian troops “took public facilities, damaged power lines and wanted to leave a trap behind”.