Zelenskyy accuses Russia of war crimes in Ukraine’s Kherson | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russian troopers of committing conflict crimes and killing civilians in Kherson, which was retaken by Ukraine final week.

“Investigators have already documented greater than 400 Russian conflict crimes. Our bodies of useless civilians and servicemen have been discovered,” Zelenskyy stated in his nightly video handle on Sunday, with out specifying the places the place the our bodies had been found.

“The Russian military left behind the identical savagery it did in different areas of the nation it entered,” he stated.

It was not instantly attainable to confirm Zelenskyy’s allegations. Russia denies its troops deliberately goal civilians.

Mass graves have been present in a number of locations throughout Ukraine for the reason that begin of the Russian invasion, together with the our bodies of civilians displaying proof of torture found within the northeastern Kharkiv area and in Bucha, close to the capital Kyiv. Ukraine has accused Russian troops of committing the crimes.

A United Nations fee in October stated conflict crimes had been dedicated in Ukraine and that Russian forces have been answerable for the “overwhelming majority” of human rights violations within the early weeks of the conflict.

Ukrainians in Kherson expressed a deep sense of reduction following the withdrawal of Russian forces on Friday after months of occupation.

The area was one among 4 that Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed in September, a transfer dubbed unlawful by Kyiv and denounced by Western international locations.

A boy flies a Ukrainian flag at a former Russian checkpoint on the outskirts of Kherson
The Russians retreated on Friday, with residents expressing reduction that the troopers had gone [AFP]

Some residents accused the Russians of laying mines and looting — even stealing animals from a zoo — earlier than they retreated.

“God will punish them. All of them. For every little thing they did,” stated 47-year-old Svitlana Vilna.

No water, energy

Ukrainian troops arrived within the southern metropolis of Kherson after Russia deserted the regional capital, which fell shortly after the February 24 invasion.

The withdrawal marked the third vital Russian retreat of the conflict and adopted a significant Ukrainian counteroffensive that had retaken components of the east and south.

Most houses within the Ukrainian metropolis are nonetheless with out electrical energy and water, in keeping with regional officers stated, and artillery exchanges continued to echo over town.

“We’re pleased now, however all of us are afraid of the bombing from the left financial institution,” stated Yana Smyrnova, a 35-year-old singer who was within the metropolis’s important sq., referring to Russian weapons on the east aspect of the Dnieper River.

Many residents — some wrapped in Ukrainian flags — queued to get meals and to make use of Starlink satellite tv for pc web to attach with family.

“I must get in contact with my household,” Klavdia Mych, a retired trainer, instructed the AFP information company.

“Now we have been with out water for per week,” the 69-year-old added. “And so they say every little thing is mined. It is extremely scary.”

The governor of the Kherson area, Yaroslav Yanushevych, stated the authorities had determined to keep up a curfew from 5pm native time (15:00 GMT) till 8am (06:00 GMT) and ban folks from leaving or coming into town as a safety measure.

“The enemy mined all crucial infrastructure,” Yanushevych instructed Ukrainian TV. “We are attempting to satisfy inside a couple of days and [then] open town,” he stated.

Zelenskyy additionally warned Kherson residents in regards to the presence of Russian mines. “I’m asking you please to not neglect that the state of affairs in Kherson area stays very harmful,” he stated.

People in winter clothes gathered around a satellite link to get mobile phone coverage and speak to their families.
Residents gathered to make use of the Starlink satellite tv for pc system for his or her smartphones. Ukrainian authorities are working to revive water and energy to town, with the primary trains anticipated to run this week [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

Minimising contact

Officers reported some early progress in restoring normality to town, whose pre-war inhabitants was about 290,000 folks.

Presidential adviser Kyrylo Tymoshenko stated on Telegram {that a} cell connection was already working within the metropolis centre, whereas the top of Ukrainian state railways stated practice providers to Kherson have been anticipated to renew this week.

Residents stated the Russians had left step by step over the previous two weeks, however their closing departure grew to become clear solely when the primary Ukrainian troops entered town of Kherson on Thursday.

“It was a gradual factor,” stated Alexii Sandakov, 44, a videographer. “First their particular police went. Then the extraordinary police and their administration. You then began seeing fewer troopers within the supermarkets after which their navy automobiles driving away.”

Many residents interviewed by the Reuters information company stated that they had tried to minimise their contact with the Russians and knew of people that have been arrested and abused for displaying any expression of Ukrainian patriotism.

Sandakov stated Russian troops had looted the houses of Ukrainian troopers who left town earlier than the takeover and would examine the our bodies of younger males passing by means of checkpoints for tattoos of Ukrainian nationalist teams.

Ukraine’s defence ministry stated it had recaptured 179 settlements and 4,500 sq. kilometres (1,700 sq. miles) alongside the Dnieper River for the reason that starting of the week.

The recapture of town opens a gateway for Ukraine to all the Kherson area, with entry to each the Black Sea within the west and the Sea of Azov within the east.

Russia orders troop withdrawal from Ukraine’s Kherson city | Russia-Ukraine war News

No quick remark by Ukraine, however announcement indicated main retreat for Russia in months-long struggle.

Russia has ordered its forces to withdraw from the Ukrainian metropolis of Kherson, the one regional capital seized by the Russian military because it invaded Ukraine in late February.

State media reported on Wednesday that Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu had ordered his troops to withdraw from the west financial institution of the Dnieper River and arrange defences on the japanese flank.

There was no quick remark from Ukrainian officers, who’ve beforehand warned that such statements could possibly be a entice amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive within the southern area.

If confirmed, the withdrawal would mark a serious retreat for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army within the struggle, now nearing the tip of its ninth month.

Extra to observe.


Russia-backed official says Kherson civilian departures completed | News

Specialists say the looming battle for Kherson metropolis will decide whether or not Ukraine can loosen Russia’s grip on the south.

The top of Russian-annexed Crimea has introduced the completion of civilian departures organised by Russia’s forces within the occupied Kherson area, in southern Ukraine, amid a counteroffensive by the Ukrainian military.

“The work to organise residents leaving the left facet of the Dnieper [River] to secure areas of Russia is accomplished,” Sergei Aksyonov stated on the messaging software Telegram late on Thursday, after he visited the area with the Kremlin’s home chief Sergei Kiriyenko.

Russian-appointed authorities in Kherson have urged residents to cross to the correct financial institution of the Dnieper River as Ukrainian forces make features within the south. Ukraine’s authorities compares this to Soviet-like “deportations” of its individuals.

“The crossing [of the Dnieper] is empty!” Aksyonov stated.

He posted pictures of himself and different officers, together with Kiriyenko, on a riverbank.

On Wednesday, a Russian-installed official in Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, stated at the least 70,000 individuals have left their properties within the area within the house of every week.

The Ukrainian military, in the meantime, stated on Friday that Russia’s “so-called evacuation” was persevering with.

It added that the Russian command in Kherson was making an attempt to “cover the actual losses of servicemen” to “keep away from panic”.

Kherson is without doubt one of the 4 partially occupied Ukrainian provinces Russia claims to have annexed following its invasion of Ukraine in late February.

It consists of the one land path to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized in 2014, and the mouth of the Dnieper River, an important financial artery that bisects Ukraine.

Officers and navy analysts say the looming battle for Kherson metropolis will decide whether or not Ukraine can loosen Russia’s grip on the south, describing it as one of the crucial consequential for the reason that begin of the conflict.

Chechen fighters killed

In an indication of Russian forces struggling heavy losses, Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov stated late on Thursday that 23 of his fighters had been killed in battles close to Kherson this week, with 58 others wounded.

“Firstly of this week, one of many Chechen items was shelled within the Kherson area,” Kadyrov, who has despatched his militia to struggle alongside the Russian military, stated on Telegram.

The Kremlin ally not often reveals defeats however admitted that losses had been “large on that day”.

Russian forces have promised to show Kherson right into a “fortress” and never give up the town, which they took over early of their offensive.

Aksyonov stated he and Kiriyenko additionally visited the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Energy Plant – Europe’s largest atomic facility – additional north on the Dnieper River in Russian-occupied territory.

He stated they “met with the workers and assessed the final scenario within the space of the plant”.

Ukraine accuses Russian forces of “kidnapping” the plant’s workers and stated final week that roughly 50 workers had been held in “captivity”.

Russia and Ukraine have accused one another of shelling the plant, sparking fears of a nuclear catastrophe.