kyiv sees a “joint victory” from the West

In the aftermath of Kherson’s recapture by kyiv, it was time for minesweeping, infrastructure repairs and the documentation of “crimes” attributable to Moscow in the great southern city, the loss of which constitutes a major setback for the Kremlin.

For kyiv, the West is on the road to a “joint victory” over Russia after the reconquest of Kherson, where the Ukrainian national anthem sounded on Friday after the withdrawal of Russian troops.

Kherson, annexed at the end of September by Moscow, had been the first major city to fall after the Russian invasion launched at the end of February.

On images broadcast by the armed forces of kyiv, Ukrainians dance in a circle, around a fire, to the rhythm of “Chervona Kalyna”, a patriotic song.

Outside Kherson, in the village of Pravdyne, returning residents hug their neighbors. Some can’t hold back their tears.

“Victory at last! “, says Svitlana Galak to AFP. “Thank you God, we are finally free and now everything will find its place”, continues this 43-year-old woman who lost her eldest son in battle.

“We are Ukraine,” adds her husband, Vikor, 44.

“We are all overjoyed,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, who also reported significant destruction in the region.

“Before fleeing Kherson, the occupants destroyed all essential infrastructure – communication, water supply, heating, electricity”, he added, adding that 2,000 explosive devices had been neutralized.

According to him, the Ukrainian armed forces have regained control of nearly 60 localities in the Kherson region.

After eight months of occupation by Russian forces, national television programs are once again visible in Kherson. And the region’s energy supplier said it was working to restore electricity supplies.

Some 200 police have also been deployed to Kherson to erect roadblocks and document “the crimes of the Russian occupiers”, National Police Chief Igor Klymenko said in a statement.

He also alerted residents of the town to the presence of explosive devices left behind by Russian forces, urging them to “move with caution”. According to Mr. Klymenko, a policeman was injured during a demining operation in a building in Kherson.

A woman and two children were injured in an explosion near their car in the village of Mylove, Kherson region, according to police, who also reported Russian shelling on Berislav district.

” On the right track “

“Only together can we prevail and drive Russia out of Ukraine. We are on the right track,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Saturday during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of a Southeast Asia summit in Phnom. Penh.

“Our victory will be our common victory,” he continued.

The Russian withdrawal from Kherson marks “a new strategic failure” on the part of Moscow, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said in a statement on Saturday.

Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to US President Joe Biden, described the recapture of the city by the kyiv army as an “extraordinary victory”, “quite remarkable”.

“Finally my free city”

This Russian withdrawal is the third in magnitude since the start of the invasion on February 24, Russia having had to give up in the spring to take kyiv in the face of fierce resistance from the Ukrainians, before being driven out of almost all of the Kharkiv region (northeast) in September.

Friday evening, on the emblematic Maidan square in kyiv, residents of Kherson who had been refugees for months in the capital celebrated the news with jubilation.

“Finally my free city, the one where I was born, where I lived all my life,” said Nastia Stepenska with tears in her eyes, the national colors painted on her cheeks. “When they (the Russians) arrived, it was horrifying, we didn’t know what would happen the next day, if we would stay alive”, testifies the 17-year-old high school student, who says to herself ” in a state of shock “.

Earlier Friday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had completed “the redeployment” of its units from the right (western) bank of the Dnieper, on which Kherson is located, to the left bank, claiming to have suffered no losses, nor abandoned military equipment.

According to Moscow, “more than 30,000” Russian soldiers and “nearly 5,000 units of armaments and military vehicles have been withdrawn” from the western bank of the Dnieper.

This decline, however, has all the snub, Russian President Vladimir Putin having claimed at the end of September the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, including that of Kherson.

On Saturday, President Putin spoke with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, at a time when Tehran appears to be a major ally of Moscow in its intervention in Ukraine.

The two leaders placed “emphasis on intensifying cooperation in the political, economic and trade spheres”, the Kremlin said.

For his part, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev raised the threat of nuclear weapons.

“For reasons that are obvious to all reasonable people, Russia has not yet used its full arsenal of possible means of destruction,” he wrote on Telegram, adding: “There is a time for everything”.

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