Russia abandons Ukrainian city of Kherson in major retreat

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday ordered his troops to withdraw from the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson and take up defensive lines on the opposite bank of the River Dnipro.

The announcement marked one of Russia’s most significant retreats and a potential turning point in the war, now nearing the end of its ninth month.

“Begin to pull out troops,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a televised meeting with Russia’s commander in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin.

The commander had proposed the “difficult decision” of pulling back from the city and setting up defences on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.

General Sergei Surovikin, in overall command of the war, said it was no longer possible to keep Kherson city supplied.

“We will save the lives of our soldiers and fighting capacity of our units. Keeping them on the right (western) bank is futile. Some of them can be used on other fronts,” Surovikin said.— AFP

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