‘Kherson is Ours’: Zelensky Hails Dramatic Recapture of City as Russian Forces Retreat

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared that Kherson is “ours” after his special forces entered the strategic southern city following the retreat of Russian troops, marking another dramatic battlefield victory in Kyiv’s drive to recapture territory occupied by Russia since the start of its Feb. 24 invasion.

The Ukrainian military also said on Nov. 11 that its troops had advanced all the way to the western bank of the Dnieper River in some areas of the Kherson region as Moscow said its forces had completed their withdrawal to the eastern bank in the face of Ukraine’s powerful counteroffensive.

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“Our people — Ours. Kherson,” Zelenskiy wrote in a Telegram post that also included what appeared to be a video of Ukrainian troops celebrating with local residents.

Moscow confirmed that the Russian Armed Forces have “completed the redeployment of troops and military equipment to the left bank of the Dnieper River,” according to Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashaekov.

“In the Kherson direction, the redeployment of Russian troops to the left bank of the Dnieper River was completed at 5:00 am Moscow time today,” Konashaekov said. “Not a single piece of military equipment was left on the right bank.”

Zelensky hailed the occasion.

“Today is a historic day,” Zelenskiy said in the post. “We are returning Kherson. As of now, our defenders are on the approaches to the city. But special units are already in the city.”

Various videos on social media from Kherson showed resident cheering and waving flags as the first Ukrainian troops reached the center of the city, the only provincial capital captured by Russian forces following their February invasion.

“Kherson is returning to the control of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said earlier in the day. “Units of the armed forces of Ukraine are entering the city.”

Various videos on social media from Kherson showed resident cheering and waving flags as the first Ukrainian troops reached the center of the city.

“Kherson is returning to the control of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said earlier in the day. “Units of the armed forces of Ukraine are entering the city.”

“The Russian occupiers’ routes of retreat are under the direct fire of the Ukrainian Army,” the statement added. “Any Russian soldier who resists will be killed.”

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet that “Ukraine is gaining another important victory right now and proves that whatever Russia says or does, Ukraine will win.” The tweet included a video purporting to show Kherson residents removing a billboard that proclaimed “Russia is here forever.”

Reported by RFE/RL and TASS

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