Last war in Ukraine: Putin remains silent as Russian troops withdraw from Kherson

Related: Elderly woman offers flowers to Ukrainian soldiers as forces return to Kherson

Vladimir Putin remained silent after Russia suffered a setback with the withdrawal of its troops from the strategic city of Kherson.

His spokesman distanced himself from the decision, saying it was up to the Defense Ministry, while the president appears to have avoided any big speeches or announcements about it.

Jubilant residents yesterday greeted Ukrainian troops who arrived in central Kherson after Russia abandoned the only regional capital it had captured since its invasion began in February.

“Today is a historic day. We are reclaiming the south of the country, we are reclaiming Kherson,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an evening video address.

The withdrawal marked the third major Russian retreat in the war and the first to involve the surrender of such a large occupied city in the face of a major Ukrainian counteroffensive which recaptured parts of the east and south.

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What could happen next in Ukraine?

Russia received a heavy blow with the retreat from Kherson, which came nearly nine months after its invasion of Ukraine.

My colleagues Thomas Kingley and Joe Sommerlad look at why the war started and what might happen next:

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 10:47 am

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Turkey engaged in peace talks, president reportedly says

Turkey is committed to seeking peace dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, President Tayyip Erdogan has told Turkish media.

“We are working on how to create a peace corridor here, like we had the grain corridor,” he told reporters on a flight from Uzbekistan, while praising Russia’s resistance to pressure from United States and its allies.

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 10:30 am

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Why is Kherson strategically important?

As Ukraine celebrates Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson, here’s why the city is so important to both sides:

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 10:17 am

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Putin’s spokesman said Kherson’s decision to retire was from the Defense Ministry

Here is a reminder of what Vladimir Putin’s spokesman told reporters about the Kherson retreat.

Dmitry Peskov said the decision was made by the Defense Ministry.

Asked by reporters if it was humiliating for the president, he replied: “No”.

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 09:59

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Putin calm on Kherson retreat

Vladimir Putin was rather discreet about the decision to withdraw from Kherson.

Russia has announced that the withdrawal is now complete, because my colleague Maryam Zakir-Hussainreported Friday:

So far, there have been no big speeches from the Russian president on the issue, with the Defense Ministry leading the announcements.

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 09:38

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Celebrations in Kyiv

Here are some additional images of Ukrainians celebrating the Russian retreat from Kherson to Kyiv last night:

Crowds flocked to Maidan Square to celebrate the liberation of Kherson

(AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine’s president called Kherson’s retreat a ‘historic day’

(AFP via Getty Images)

People gathered in Maidan Square in Kyiv to celebrate the retreat from Kherson

(AFP via Getty Images)

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 09:21

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Ukraine thanks Australian Prime Minister “for his firmness” with the country

He also met the Australian Prime Minister.

“I thanked him for standing firmly with Ukraine as we defend against Russian aggression,” Ukraine’s foreign minister tweeted this morning:

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 08:48

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Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and India meet

Ukraine’s foreign minister met with his Indian counterpart to discuss the war:

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 08:25

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Russian casualties now top 80,000, Ukraine says

The number of Russian soldiers killed in the war has now exceeded 80,000, according to the Ukrainian military:

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 07:57

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British intelligence update on Kherson

Here is the latest UK intelligence update on Ukraine.

  • Russia probably destroyed bridges and roads during its retreat from Kherson
  • His troops had probably been retreating for weeks, despite the official announcement of the withdrawal just days ago.
  • Kherson’s retreat ’causes significant reputational damage’

Zoe TidmanNovember 12, 2022 07:38

Christi C. Elwood