With the boost of jubilation at retaking Kherson?
The Ukraine forces say there will keep on the offense and keep taking back Ukriane territory from the Russians…
Here’s what we know:
Ukrainians in Kherson were celebrating Russia’s retreat but also told visiting New York Times journalists they feared Moscow would strike back.
‘Let me hug you’: Ukrainian soldiers receive a hero’s welcome in Kherson.
Ukraine’s military searches for any Russian soldiers still in Kherson.
The U.S. expresses optimism over Russia’s retreat from Kherson.
For the first time in months, there’s some peace in southern Ukraine.
With the Russians gone, a Ukrainian who had resisted emerges from the shadows.
Ukraine signals it will stay on the offensive, despite talk of a lull.
As jubilant Ukrainian troops hoist their national flag over Kherson after a comprehensive Russian retreat, they give no sign of stopping their offensives for the winter, or allowing the war to settle into a stalemate.
In the east, Ukrainian forces continue to grind forward and have repelled repeated Russian efforts to seize towns like Bakhmut and Pavlivka, reportedly killing hundreds of Russian soldiers. In the south, they are striking deep behind Russian lines, hitting Moscow’s troops before they can settle and build defenses on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, across from Kherson.
And there are growing hints from troops on the ground, and volunteers close to them, that the Ukrainians are preparing for a new land offensive between those two fronts, south through the Zaporizhzhia region toward Melitopol, challenging Russia’s hold on the entire southern area that it seized in the invasion that began in February.
“The logic of war is not to pause and somehow continue to move forward….
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- A few dozen people danced in Kherson’s central square, some hugging one another and crying after almost nine months of Russian occupation finally seemed at an end. “We are so happy, despite all our struggles,” said Olga Malakh, 56, as she stood in the central square with her husband, who was waving a large Ukrainian flag. “We have lived through so much, but we will rebuild.” Serhii Khlan, an elected official from the nearby Kakhovka region, told The Post on Saturday that residents were elated at the arrival of Ukrainian forces.
- Kherson had been without running water for four days, and without electricity for a week, residents said. Cellphones were useless. Instead, people resorted to shouting over the noise of raucous celebrations. “We’ve waited for so long for this to happen,” Andriy Fyedorov, 23, said as he stood on top of a black SUV, waving the Ukrainian flag. Without the heavy Russian presence in their city, many Kherson residents freely spoke of arbitrary searches, arrest, torture and even disappearances under the Kremlin’s occupation.
- The humanitarian situation in the city remained “threatening,” a Kherson official, speaking to The Post from Vynnytsia, said Friday. “There is no electricity or water, and no communication connections,” said Nataliya Chornenka, head of the Korabelny area in Kherson city. But she said residents were keen to return: “People are calling all the time, asking ‘when can we go back?’ We are already packing and our children want to go home.’ ”
- Russian forces used explosives to destroy part of the road across the Kakhovka dam as they retreated Friday, but the dam itself remained intact, Khlan told The Washington Post. Satellite images provided to The Post by Maxar Technologies on Friday showed “significant new damage” to the dam and bridges as the Russians retreated from Kherson.
- A Russian airstrike killed at least seven people in Mykolaiv on Friday. A Post reporter’s visit to the site of the explosions showed that part of an apartment building had collapsed. Rescue workers continued to pick through the rubble, kicking up huge clouds of dust, as stunned survivors waited to be let back into their damaged apartments in the city about 40 miles northwest of Kherson.
- Russia has moved its administrative center for the Kherson region to the port city of Henichesk after its retreat from Kherson city this week, a spokesman for the Moscow-installed local administration was quoted as saying by Russian media. Alexander Fomin added that no document formalizing the move to the city in the east of the Kherson region had been signed. Kherson was one of four Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Russia in late September.
- A Russian strike left unexploded ordnance near six apartment buildings, a presidential adviser said Saturday evening. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, an official in Zelensky’s office, shared a photo on his Telegram pageand said the materiel was loaded with about 50 charges that could explode at any moment. Authorities were moving people out of the area, Tymoshenko said, and a bomb squad was working to dispose of it.
- Russia’s retreat from Kherson “has broader strategic implications,” Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said on Air Force One, as President Biden headed to Cambodia on Saturday. Sullivan added that Ukraine’s ability to push Russian troops across the Dnieper River reduces the “long-term threat” to places such as Odessa and the Black Sea shore.
- The Russian-appointed head of Kakhovka in the Kherson region announced the evacuation of its employees from the area a signal that the Kremlin is pulling farther into Russian territory less than a day after Ukrainian authorities retook the regional capital. “By order of the government of the Kherson region, we, as an authority, are moving to a safer territory, from where we will lead the district,” Pavel Filipchuk said on the administration’s Telegram channel.
- Russia probably began withdrawing its forces long before its public announcement this week, the British Defense Ministry said Saturday. “There is a realistic possibility that Russian military equipment and forces in civilian attire had been evacuating” while tens of thousands of civilians were ordered to leave by the Moscow-installed authorities in late October, the ministry said in its daily intelligence update.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked Washington for its support months into the conflict during a meeting Saturday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was in Cambodia with a U.S. delegation that includes President Biden. “When we see Kherson residents greeting their liberators with tears of joy, we also feel grateful to the U.S.,” Kuleba tweeted. This week, the United States pledged an additional $400 million in security assistance for Ukraine. The latest U.S. aid package includes Avenger air defense systems that come equipped with Stinger missiles….
Top image….Ukrainian soldiers being welcomed by residents of Kherson, Ukraine, on Saturday after Russian forces retreated.Credit…Lynsey Addario for The New York Times