Ukraine troops greeted with flowers in Kherson after Russian retreat By Reuters




© Reuters. Native residents welcome Ukrainian servicemen as individuals have a good time after Russia’s retreat from Kherson, in central Kherson, Ukraine November 12, 2022. REUTERS/Lesko Kromplitz


By Jonathan Landay

KLAPAYA, Ukraine (Reuters) – Villagers holding flowers waited on the highway to the southern metropolis of Kherson to greet and kiss Ukrainian troopers on Saturday as they poured in to safe management of the suitable financial institution of the Dnipro River after a shocking Russian retreat.

Volleys of incoming and outgoing artillery fireplace continued to blast round Kherson’s worldwide airport and the police mentioned they have been organising checkpoints in and across the metropolis and sweeping for mines left behind by the Russians.

The mayor mentioned the humanitarian state of affairs was “extreme” due to an absence of water, drugs and bread within the metropolis the place residents celebrated their liberation in what President Volodymyr Zelenskiy known as a “historic day” on Friday.

Within the hamlet of Klapaya, about 10 km from Kherson’s middle, Nataliya Porkhunuk, 66, and Valentyna Buhailova, 61, stood on the verge of a rutted monitor holding bunches of freshly-picked flowers, smiling, and waving at passing automobiles carrying Ukrainian troops.

“We have grow to be 20 years youthful within the final two days,” Buhailova mentioned, simply earlier than a Ukrainian soldier jumped out of a small truck and hugged the pair.

Exterior the village of Chornobayivka, near Kherson, a Reuters reporter noticed incoming Russian fireplace that appeared like a cluster munitions strike on the close by airport. A volley of outgoing fireplace adopted from the Ukrainian facet shortly after.

Reuters reporters have been turned again by troopers close to Kherson’s outskirts and informed it was too harmful to go additional.

One officer was wounded whereas demining one in every of Kherson’s administrative buildings, the police mentioned.

“The town has a vital scarcity, primarily of water,” Mayor Roman Holovnia informed tv. “There may be at the moment not sufficient drugs, not sufficient bread as a result of it could actually’t be baked: there isn’t a electrical energy.”


The highway to Kherson from Mykolaiv was lined by fields containing miles of deserted Russian trenches. A destroyed T72 tank lay with its turret tossed the wrong way up.

The deserted trenches have been suffering from refuse, blankets and camouflage netting. An irrigation ditch was crammed with discarded Russian gear and several other anti-tank mines have been seen on the facet of highway.

Within the hamlet of Klapaya, Porkhunuk recounted that for many of the previous 9 months, the village was occupied by pro-Moscow Ukrainian troops from the Russia-occupied area of Donetsk “who mentioned they’d not damage us, and we must always keep in our homes”.

However for 2 weeks, Russian troopers took over Klapaya and informed villagers they have been there to seek for “Nazis, and Banderites, and American biolabs,” she mentioned, including she had replied: “If you wish to search for them, look elsewhere and go dwelling.”

Russians troops additionally warned that, “If we discover that you’re hiding any Ukrainian troopers, we are going to degree your house and the village,” she continued. She mentioned the invaders additionally looted properties whose residents had fled.

Moscow describes its actions in Ukraine as a “particular army operation”. It has made claims about harmful far-right teams in Ukraine and unproven allegations Ukraine hosted U.S.-run bioweapons services.

Kyiv and its allies say Russia’s invasion, which has killed tens of hundreds and uprooted hundreds of thousands, was unprovoked and unlawful.

Within the close by village of Kiselivka, a gaggle of youngsters stood on a dust-strewn nook with an indication made out of a cabinet door on which they’d painted “Kherson” and an arrow pointing to a detour round a destroyed bridge on the primary freeway from Mykolaiv.

“We’re right here as a result of we needed to assist ultimately. So, a number of hours in the past, we made the signal,” mentioned Artem, 17.

Villagers mentioned the Russians left on Wednesday night time.

“They did not fireplace any pictures,” recounted Hyhory Kulyaka, 54, who drove up on a scooter. “They have been simply gone.”

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