Kyiv vows to push Russia further away from Ukraine after Kherson success
Ukraine’s president has vowed to continue driving Russian forces out of his country after they pulled out of Kherson, leaving devastation, starvation and booby traps in the southern Ukrainian city.
The Russian withdrawal from Kherson marked a triumphant milestone in Ukraine’s defense against the Moscow invasion nearly nine months ago. The residents of Kherson hugged and kissed the arriving Ukrainian troops in delighted scenes.
“We will see many more such salutes” from Ukrainian soldiers liberating Russian-held territory,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address on Saturday.
He promised the people in the still occupied Ukrainian towns and villages: “We will not forget anyone; we will not abandon anyone.”
Ukraine’s recapture of Kherson was a major setback for the Kremlin and the latest in a series of embarrassing battlefield situations. It came about six weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Kherson region and three other provinces in southern and eastern Ukraine – in violation of international law – and declared them Russian territory.
Driving from the Mykolayiv region towards Kherson, AP reporters saw overturned electrical wires, used projectile casings and the decomposed carcass of a cow. Several wrecked tanks lined the muddy road.
As Ukrainian forces tightened their grip on Kherson on Sunday, authorities pondered the daunting task of clearing explosive devices and restoring basic public services in the city.
A Ukrainian official described the situation in Kherson as “a humanitarian catastrophe”. The remaining residents of the city are said to lack water, medicine and food. Due to the lack of electricity, there is a shortage of important staple foods such as bread.
Ukrainian police called on residents to help identify collaborators with Russian forces during the eight-month occupation. Ukrainian police officers returned to the city along with public broadcasting services on Saturday after Russian troops withdrew.
Ukraine’s national police chief Ihor Klymenko said on Facebook on Saturday that about 200 officers are deployed in the city, setting up checkpoints and documenting evidence of possible war crimes.
In what may be the next district that could fall in Ukraine’s march on territory illegally annexed by Moscow, the Russian-appointed administration of the Kakhovka district, east of the city of Kherson, on Saturday announced the evacuation of its staff.
“Today, the government is the number one target for Ukrainian attacks,” said Moscow-installed Kakhovka leader Pavel Filipchuk.
“Therefore, as an authority, by order of the Kherson region government, we are moving to a safer area from where we will run the district,” he wrote on Telegram.
Kakhovka is located on the left bank of the Dnieper River, upstream of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.
Deputy head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko said six people died as a result of Russian shelling on Saturday.
Writing to Telegram on Sunday, he said four people were killed and one injured in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, two were killed in the Kherson region and two were injured in the central Dnepropetrovsk region.
In Kherson on Saturday, photos shared on social media showed Ukrainian activists removing commemorative plaques put up by the occupation authorities. A Telegram post from Yellow Ribbon, the Ukrainian resistance movement in the occupied territories, showed two people in a park removing plaques with Soviet-era military figures.
Moscow’s announcement that Russian forces would withdraw across the Dnieper River, which divides both the Kherson region and Ukraine as a whole, followed an intensified Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south of the country. In the past two months, the Ukrainian military claimed to have recaptured dozens of towns and villages north of the city of Kherson, and the military said stabilization activities were taking place there.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tried to calm the excitement over Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson.
“We’re winning battles on the ground, but the war goes on,” he said from Cambodia, where he was attending an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Sunday that a joint statement on the summit’s outcome 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 angered by the support Ukraine is receiving from its western allies, including the United States.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/13/kyiv-vows-to-keep-driving-russia-of-ukraine-after-kherson-success/ Kyiv vows to push Russia further away from Ukraine after Kherson success