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Russia says troop withdrawal from Kherson is complete

FILE – Russian soldiers guard an area as a group of foreign journalists visit in Kherson, Kherson region, south Ukraine, May 20, 2022. Russia’s military has announced that it’s withdrawing from Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson and nearby areas. That would be another in a series of humiliating setbacks for Moscow’s forces in the 8-month-old war. This photo was taken during a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. (AP Photo, File)

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday that it had successfully withdrawn its troops from Kherson, Ukraine.

“In Kherson direction, today, at 05.00 am [Moscow time], units of the Russian forces finished their redeployment to the left bank of Dnepr river,” wrote the ministry in a report.

The Russian military announced its intentions to retreat from Kherson earlier this week, saying it was unable to supply all of the soldiers stationed in the city.

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed skepticism that Russian troops would withdraw from Kherson, which they have occupied since late February, without incident.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak in response to the withdrawal announcement.

“We see no signs that Russia is leaving Kherson without a fight. … [Ukraine] is liberating territories based on intelligence data, not staged TV statements.”

The Russian military said on Friday that all of its personnel and resources had been moved to the right bank of the Dnieper River, away from Kherson, which the Kremlin annexed in September through referendums that were widely rejected as corrupt.

The defense ministry added that civilians “who have expressed their desire to abandon the right-bank part of Kherson region” were “assisted in evacuation.”

“Over the night, the enemy attempted to frustrate the transportation of civilians and the redeployment of forces to the left bank of Dnepr,” wrote the ministry.

It also said that there had been no casualties or harm done to armament, hardware and material means.

Tags Kherson russia ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

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