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Ukrainian forces enter Kherson as Russia completes retreat from key southern city

toomuchtime_

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MYKOLAIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian forces swept into the key southern city of Kherson on Friday, hours after Russia said its military had completed a rapid retreat from the area — a humiliating setback for President Vladimir Putin and a major development in the war.

As jubilant civilians flocked to the city's central square to greet advancing soldiers, Kyiv said its forces were taking control and warned any remaining occupying troops to surrender.

The Russian pullout across the Dnieper River that divides the region marks one of the biggest blows yet for Putin, abandoning perhaps the greatest prize of the war he launched nearly nine months ago and severely weakening his grip over the country's south.

It follows a grinding Ukrainian counteroffensive that pushed Putin's troops back and pounded their supply lines, sparking a race by Russia to evacuate more than 100,000 residents in the area — and then its own soldiers.

Moscow's defense ministry said in a statement reported by state news agencies earlier Friday that its troops and equipment had been withdrawn from the western bank of the Dnieper River by 5 a.m. local time (9 p.m. ET), finalizing their pullout from the city of Kherson and much of its surrounding area.


Now Russia wants to negotiate:

"Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the episode was embarrassing for Putin, who only weeks ago had proclaimed the region's annexation. "Kyiv does not want negotiations. The special military operation continues," Peskov said in his daily press briefing."

"The special military operation continues" by which he means Russia will go bombing Ukrainian civilians while the Russian army runs away from the AFU.

The annexation of Crimea is celebrated as a national holiday in Russia. When the last Russian is forced to flee Crimea what will they call that holiday then?
 

Litwin

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