Ukraine Takes Back Key City, Russian Military Confirms Retreat

Zinger Key Points
  • Russian troops left mines and explosives as they withdrew from Kherson.
  • The Russian retreat highlights its inability to hold its position and supply troops, or it's a ruse.
Ukraine Takes Back Key City, Russian Military Confirms Retreat

Following the recovery of the crucial southern Ukrainian city by Kyiv forces, French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday praised the return of Kherson to Ukraine as a significant step toward the full restoration of its independent rights.

"France will continue to support Ukrainian men and women," the French president wrote via Twitter in Ukrainian, after it was revealed that Russia had finished its quick withdrawal from the southern city of Kherson, a significant development in the war and a humiliating failure for President Vladimir Putin.

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A Signature Goodbye: Russian troops left mines and explosives as they withdrew from Kherson, on "vital objects, in particular," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement on Friday.

"We will restore all conditions of normal life — as much as possible," Zelenskyy added.

The Russian retreat could highlight its inability to hold its position and supply troops as the Ukrainian counteroffensive grew more intense.

Cause For Concern? The actions complicated a battlefield scene already disorganized after nine months of combat.

It has been questioned by some Kyiv authorities whether Russia's declaration is a ruse to entice Ukrainian military.

Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine's minister of defense, said on Thursday that Russia still had 40,000 soldiers in the area and intelligence indicated its forces were still in and around the city.

Moscow made the choice, according to U.S. officials, to prevent a repeat of their failure in the Kharkiv region in September, when Ukrainian forces managed to break through Russian front lines and seized hundreds of square miles and massive amounts of abandoned Russian military hardware.

This time, it seems the Russians are strategically withdrawing to safer locations and getting ready for further combat.

For the time being, the recovery of Kherson, which saw Ukraine hoisting its blue-and-yellow flag above a city that Russian soldiers had taken in March, represents the Kremlin's most significant military defeat in Ukraine.

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Photo: Milan Sommer via Shutterstock

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