Locals rejoiced at Russian retreat from Kherson as demining was carried out


Ukrainians on Saturday hailed Russia’s retreat from Kherson, as Kyiv said it worked to clear the strategic southern city, record Russian crimes and restore power across the region. Read FRANCE 24’s live blog to see how today’s events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

This live page is no longer updated. For more of our coverage of the war in Ukraine, click here.

10:06 p.m.: Russian atrocities in Kherson region “same” as other regions, Zelensky says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused Russian soldiers of committing war crimes and killing civilians in Kherson, parts of which were retaken by Ukraine’s army last week after Russia pulled out.

“Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes. Bodies of dead civilians and military have been found,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Sunday.

“The Russian army left behind the same savagery as it did in other regions of the country it entered,” he said.

21:00: Fighting in the Donetsk region remains intense, Zelensky says

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region was as intense as it had been in recent days without a break in Russian attacks.

“Battles in the Donetsk region are just as intense as they have been in previous days,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

“The level of Russian attacks has not dropped. And the level of our resilience and courage is at a peak. We will not allow them through our defenses.”

20:47: More than 400 Russian war crimes committed in liberated Kherson, says Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that investigators had uncovered more than 400 Russian war crimes and found the bodies of both military and civilians in areas of the Kherson region liberated from Russian occupation.

“Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes. Bodies of dead civilians and military have been found,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

He said “stabilization and restoration of law” had been established in 226 settlements affecting more than 100,000 residents. arrests of Russian soldiers and mercenaries were ongoing.

19:24: Kherson after Russian occupation

Ukrainian police and authorities have consolidated their control in Kherson after the Russian defection on Friday, including by restoring television and radio broadcasts to once again get information out to the public.

Much work remains to be done. Before the Russians left, they destroyed a lot of public infrastructure that has left the city of Kherson without water, electricity, heat and communication services. Medical supplies and food are also in short supply.

FRANCE 24’s Luke Shrago reports:

03:53 12:53: Russia’s Lavrov arrives in Bali for G20 summit

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Bali, Indonesia on Sunday to attend a G20 summit, taking the place of President Vladimir Putin who decided not to attend.

Lavrov was greeted by an honor guard and traditional dancers, but is expected to face criticism at the summit over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threats to use nuclear weapons in the conflict.

11:39: After the Kherson success, Kyiv vows to continue pushing Russia out

Ukraine’s president vowed to continue pushing Russian forces out of his country after they withdrew from Kherson, leaving behind devastation, hunger and traps in the southern Ukrainian city.

The Russian retreat from Kherson marked a triumphant milestone in Ukraine’s pushback against Moscow’s invasion nearly nine months ago. Kherson residents hugged and kissed the arriving Ukrainian troops in ecstatic scenes.

“We will see many more such greetings” from Ukrainian soldiers liberating Russian-held territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address on Saturday.

He promised the people of Ukrainian cities and villages still under occupation: “We do not forget anyone; we leave no one.”

The Russians destroyed bridges over the Dnipro River and infrastructure in the city, while leaving behind a mass of landmines and tripwires. The city of Kherson itself is now without heat, water or electricity. FRANCE 24’s Luke Shrago reports from Koblevo, in the Mykolaiv Oblast of Ukraine.

03:30 09:13: Russia’s Lavrov says the West is trying to militarize Southeast Asia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that the West is “militarizing” Southeast Asia in a bid to contain Russian and Chinese interests, setting the stage for a confrontation between Russia and Western leaders at the G20 summit in Bali.

Lavrov will lead Russia’s delegation to the summit – the first such meeting since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February – after the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin was too busy to attend.

Ukraine will dominate the agenda with Western leaders likely to publicly confront Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and push the likes of China and India – both of which have previously expressed concern over the war – to criticize Moscow’s actions.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, Lavrov chided the United States for its actions in the region, which both Russia and the West see as a potential strategic geopolitical battleground for decades to come.

07:30: “We are Ukraine”: Locals cheer Russian retreat from Kherson

Kherson was one of four regions of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed in September. Weeks later, the Russian retreat from the city of Kherson has boosted Ukrainian resistance after nearly nine months of fighting and hardship.

In the formerly occupied village of Pravdyne, outside Kherson, returning locals embraced their neighbours, with some unable to hold back tears.

Several disabled anti-tank mines and grenades could be seen in the settlement, which is home to a Polish Roman Catholic church, with a number of damaged buildings visible.

Yaroslav Yanushevych, head of the regional state administration, said from downtown Kherson that everything was being done to “restore normal life” to the area.

While the demining is carried out, a curfew has been imposed and movement in and out of the city has been restricted, Yanushevych explained in a video posted on social media, where people could be seen celebrating in the background.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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