Ukraine's? Ukraine's. Zelensky proclaims Kherson ‘ours’ as Russia withdraws
Russia-Ukraine War: Kherson was the first major urban hub to fall after president Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky declared Kherson "ours" after Russia withdrew troops from the city. The US hailed it as an "extraordinary victory".
"As of now, our defenders are on the outskirts of the city. But special units are already in the city," Volodymyr Zelensky said.
"We see children running to meet us and greeting us," Andriy Zholob, commander of a medical unit said. "We see attractive, smiling faces, flowers, embroidered towels which we display on our vehicles," he told AFP.
The US hailed Ukraine's "extraordinary victory" in recapturing Kherson from the Russians on Saturday.
"It's a big moment and it's due to the incredible tenacity and skill of the Ukrainians, backed by the relentless and united support of the United States and our allies," US national security advisor Jake Sullivan said.
Kyiv's defence ministry had said earlier Friday that Kherson "is returning to Ukrainian control and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are entering the city." Ukrainian artillery teams had clear views over Russia's routes of retreat and warned, "Any attempts to oppose the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be stopped."
Russia's defence ministry said "more than 30,000 Russian servicemen, about 5,000 pieces of hardware and military equipment and materiel have been withdrawn".
Kherson was the first major urban hub to fall after president Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24.