Zelensky walks through recaptured Kherson: ‘We are advancing’

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Ukrainian president denounces finding of corpses revealing existence of war crimes and confirms “ready for peace” but without ceding territories to Russia

“We are moving forward”. With these words Volodimir Zelensky welcomed the recapture of Kherson on Monday during a visit to this city in the company of a large part of his cabinet. Three days after the entry of the Ukrainian army, the president met a group of soldiers and gave a speech in the central square, where hundreds of residents, armed with national flags, had gathered. “I am very happy. I see that happiness in the reaction of the people,” he told reporters.

Kherson now has about 50,000 inhabitants. More than 120,000 were evacuated before Russian troops retreated to the left bank of the Dnieper River, where they established their bridgehead. Zelensky considered that this withdrawal is a result of the invaders “seeing themselves in danger” and added that the advance into the region will mark a “turning point in the war”, despite the fact that the recaptured territories are still still represent a small part of the surface invaded by Russia. The president praised the heavy weapons supplied by the West and expressed “thank you” to the United States and NATO partners.

As for the possibility of sitting at the negotiating table with Moscow, an objective increasingly demanded by European allies and the White House itself, given the sense that the two countries have entered an endless spiral of war, Zelensky affirms that Ukraine “is ready for peace” but not ready to “hand over its territory to Russia”. Kremlin spokesmen, in turn, favored opening negotiations, but on condition that current military conditions on the ground are respected; that is, with its primacy in Donbas.

In this apparent dialogue of the deaf, the European Union intervened today, whose head of diplomacy, Josep Borrell, believes the Zelensky government should decide when to open negotiations with Moscow. According to him, the Russian army “is withdrawing” and the fact that it failed to defend Kherson “because it could have suffered a great defeat” constitutes a “turning point”. Several military analysts were less enthusiastic than Borrell and, unlike previous withdrawals of Kremlin troops, absolutely disorderly, they believe that in this case there is a rehearsed operation to regroup the troops, the possibility of an attack on Crimea defend and launch a new offensive.

In this regard, the head of European diplomacy has assured that the training mission of the Ukrainian army planned by Europe will be ready in two weeks: “It is our duty to support Ukraine”, he has judged. Finland’s foreign minister this morning also asked that any dialogue between the two countries begin when “Russia has left the invaded areas”.

Zelensky’s main concern now is to get Kherson back as quickly as possible the basic supplies of electricity, gas and drinking water, the facilities of which were destroyed by the Russians before their withdrawal. The president has also reported that during the first hours of presence in the recaptured province “the bodies of civilians and soldiers are found” which demonstrate the existence of summary executions and other war crimes. “In the Kherson region, the Russian army left behind the same atrocities as in other regions of our country that it was able to penetrate,” the president lamented, before promising the city’s residents that “we will find all the murderers and bring them to justice .” .”

Source: La Verdad

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