Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday that all its troops had withdrawn from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
According to the ministry’s statement, “not a single piece of military equipment and weapons was left.”
The retreat represents a significant setback for the Russian armed forces, as the city of Kherson was the only major Ukrainian regional capital to fall into Russian hands at the start of the war. The region is also a strategic gateway to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.
Shortly before the announcement by the Russian Defense Ministry, the Kremlin remained defiant, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters that Russia continued to consider Kherson as part of its territory.
Moscow announced earlier this week that it would withdraw its troops from the western bank of the Dnipro River, where the city of Kherson is located.
Ukrainian officials were skeptical of the announcement, saying it would likely take days, if not weeks, for Russian forces to withdraw completely from Kherson.
There was no immediate comment from Kiev on Moscow’s claim of a full withdrawal on Friday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Thursday that Ukrainian troops liberated 41 settlements as they moved through the south.
Here are the other headlines from the war in Ukraine on Friday, November 11:
Russian strike kills 5 in Mykolaiv, says governor
A regional governor said at least five people were killed in a Russian attack on a residential building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.
“A strike in a five-storey residential building. Devastated from the 5th to the 1st floor,” Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim wrote on social media.
Russian troops have repeatedly attacked the city for months. Zelenskyy said the latest strike was a “cynical response to our successes at the front”, in a clear reference to Ukraine’s advance in the Kherson region.
fb/wmr (TBEN, TBEN, Reuters)