Moscow/Lviv, Nov 10 (EFE).- Russia has started withdrawing its troops from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, the country’s defense ministry said on Thursday.
“Units of the Russian Group of Forces are carrying out a maneuver to move to prepared positions on the left bank of the Dnieper River in strict compliance with the approved plan,” defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
Earlier, Sergey Surovikin, the commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine, said that moving troops to the left bank of the river would take place in a “short period of time.”
“After comprehensively assessing the current situation, the proposal is to assume defense along the left bank of the Dnieper River,” he told Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu, according to local media.
Shoigu approved the move Wednesday and ordered Surovikin to pull out the forces to the other side of the Dnieper River.
Ukraine, meanwhile, was skeptical of the whole move.
“The enemy does not bring us gifts, does not make ‘gestures of goodwill,'” president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address late Wednesday.
Over the past few hours, Ukraine claimed to have recaptured 12 settlements in Kherson.
Valerii Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Ukraine, wrote on Telegram that Ukrainians have managed to liberate tens of square kilometers of territory in the embattled region, which was recently annexed by Russia.
“In the past 24 hours alone, in the direction of Petropavlovka-Novoraysk, units of the defense forces advanced 7 km, took control of 6 settlements, and returned up to 107 square kilometers of territory to Ukraine,” he said, according to local media.
“On the Pervomaiskoye-Kherson direction, we advanced 7 km, took control of 6 settlements, the area of liberated land is 157 sq. km.”
Since October 1, Ukrainian troops have advanced 36.5 kilometers into the Russian defense on the Kherson front, bringing the total area of the liberated territory to 1,381 square kilometers.
So far, Kyiv has retaken control of 41 settlements that had been occupied by Russian troops since the invasion of the country began on February 24.EFE