Up to 15 percent of Russian forces still trapped in Ukraine-controlled Kherson – claim


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As many as 15 percent of the Russian troops previously stationed in the southern Ukrainian port city of Kherson have been left behind by Moscow’s retreating forces, according to a local official in the embattled region.The city of Kherson, the administrative centre of the southern Ukrainian region of the same name, was the first major victory for the invading Russian forces back in March.It was also one of four regions claimed as annexed by Moscow earlier in the autumn through a set of sham referenda, along with the Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions.But Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive at the end of the summer, and were successful in reclaiming control over the port city of Kherson on Friday.Russia pulled its forces back to the opposite bank of the Dnipro River, and named a new temporary capital for the region as Ukraine’s forces retook Kherson city.Alexander Fomin, of the Russian-installed administration in the Kherson region, said the administrative capital had been relocated to Henichesk, closer to Russian-controlled Crimea.Ukraine then said “stabilisation measures” were being undertaken in Kherson city, with the vast majority of its civilian infrastructure destroyed by the eight-month occupation.But as Russian forces pull back in the region in what is widely considered a humiliation for the Kremlin, a small but not insignificant chunk of Moscow’s troops are believed to have remained in the symbolic city.The head of territorial defence for the Kherson region, Stanislav Stoikobv, has suggested that 15 percent of the retreating troops have not made it to the new Russian defensive line across the Dnipro.He told The Independent: “We have to find them.READ MORE: Rocked Russians have nowhere to hide as 500 pinpointedUkrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, paid a surprise visit to the city on Monday, during which he hailed the “beginning of the end of the war”.Mr Zelensky said the city was “ready for peace, peace for all our country” and joined a rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem.The Kremlin reiterated following Mr Zelensky’s visit that Kherson is part of Russia.Over the weekend, Mr Zelensky accused Russia of committing war crimes in Kherson, claiming that Ukrainian investigators had found evidence of more than 400 possible war crimes in recently-liberated areas.Moscow denies intentionally targeting civilians. Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address to the nation: “In the Kherson region, the Russian army left behind the same atrocities as in other regions of our country, where it was able to enter.”He added: “We will find and bring to justice every murderer. Without a doubt.”


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