(Update 1: Adds details, changes focus, alters dateline, headline, writes through)
Lviv, Ukraine, Nov 11 (EFE).- Ukraine’s troops have retaken the southern city of Kherson following Russia’s retreat to the left bank of the Dnieper river Friday.
Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate (GUR) issued a statement on Telegram claiming that Kherson, one of the first major Ukrainian cities to be occupied by Russia following its invasion, had “returned” under Ukraine’s control.
“Any attempts to oppose the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be stopped. Every Russian soldier who resists will be destroyed,” the intelligence service said.
Ukrainian media shared images appearing to show that the Ukrainian flag was flying in the center of Kherson once again.
Ukrinform, the country’s official news agency, reported that the Antonovsky bridge, which connects Kherson city to southern parts of the region, had collapsed.
Earlier on Friday, Russia claimed it had completed its retreat from the northern part of Kherson, including around the regional capital of the same name.
Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defense ministry, said the withdrawal to the left bank of the Dnieper river had been completed by 2am GMT.
“Not a single piece of military equipment was left on the right bank,” he claimed.
The Russian army came under heavy criticism during its chaotic September retreat from the Kharkiv region, where it left behind large quantities of military gear for the advancing Ukrainian army.
Russia’s military said it would establish defensive lines on the left bank of the Dnieper, which flows through the Kherson region and out into the Black Sea.
Konashenkov claimed the Russian army had not suffered any casualties during its pullback, although accused Ukraine of attacking positions using high precision HIMARS missiles.
Kherson is the only regional capital Russia managed to capture since it launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.
Kherson was one of four regions along with Zaporizhizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk that Russian president Vladimir Putin unilaterally annexed in September.EFE