After Russia announced the withdrawal of its forces from the city of Kherson In southern Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed Friday a “historic day”.
Zelensky wrote on Telegram: “Today is a historic day. We are taking back Kherson,” explaining that “At the moment, our defenders are on the outskirts of the city. But special military forces are in the city,” according to AFP.
He also added, “Our people. Ours. Kherson,” along with a Ukrainian flag emoji and amateur scenes from the city showing Ukrainian troops gathering with the city’s residents.
More than 30 thousand soldiers
It is noteworthy that the Russian army had announced earlier on Friday the withdrawal of more than 30,000 Russian soldiers from the region Khersonleaving the right bank of the Dnipro River to spread out on its left bank.
“More than 30,000 Russian soldiers and about 5,000 weapons and military vehicles have been withdrawn” from the western bank of the Dnipro River, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
In addition, the Ukrainian army began entering Kherson after the withdrawal of Russian forces, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. “Kherson is back under Ukrainian control. Units of Ukrainian forces enter the city,” the ministry wrote on Facebook.
Kherson (archive from AFP)
It won’t change anything
However, despite the withdrawal of Russian forces from it, the Kremlin confirmed that there will be no change in the status of the city of Kherson, in reference to its remaining among the four regions that Russia annexed to its territory in late September.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a press briefing on Friday that the withdrawal of his country’s forces from the strategic city would not change anything.
He also stressed that the status of the region is “defined and fixed without any changes.” He refused to comment on the experts’ statements about the situation in Kherson, saying only that “the military operation is continuing.”
From Kherson (archive from AFP)
It is noteworthy that Peskov’s statements about the Russian withdrawal from KhersonIt comes after the Ukrainian army confirmed its recovery of about 40 towns in the region, in a major setback for the Russian army, especially as it is the first major Ukrainian city to have fallen into its hands since the outbreak of the conflict on February 24.
It also forms, along with Donetsk, Lugansk, and Zaporizhia, the four regions that the Kremlin announced in late September (2022) its annexation.
Also, its geographical location is of particular importance, as the region is located on the borders of the Dnipro-Petrovsk and Nikolaev regions, and it has a land border with Crimea in the south, while overlooking the Black Sea in the southwest, and in the southeast by the Sea of Azov.