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Zelensky Visits Kherson - Long And Difficult Path Ahead Moving Forward

Zelensky visits Kherson on Monday, November 13, 2022, and said Ukraine's recapture of Kherson marked "the beginning of the end of the war" during a surprise visit to the newly liberated city.

Mariella Blankenship
Nov 15, 20224535 Shares119332 Views
Zelensky visits Khersonon Monday, November 13, 2022, and said Ukraine's recapture of Kherson marked "the beginning of the end of the war" during a surprise visit to the newly liberated city.
As the Ukrainian flag was hoisted above the main administrative building, Mr. Zelensky sang the national anthem. Images posted to Mr. Zelensky's official Telegram channel showed him presenting awards to Ukrainian soldiers beneath the city's colonnaded arch.
The visit follows three days of celebration in Kherson, which marked the withdrawal of Russian troops from the only regional capital captured by Moscow during the war's first eight months.
After a months-long Ukrainian campaign to cut their supply lines and push them out, Russian forces were forced to leave the city.

Zelensky Visits Kherson - Beginning Of The End Of War

President Zelensky waves to residents during visit to newly-liberated city of Kherson

Despite the liberation of Kherson from Russian control, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that a "long and difficult path" lies ahead. But, during a visit to the city, he told soldiers that Ukraine is "moving forward."
Losing the southern city is a major setback for Russia, despite Moscow's insistence that it is still Russian territory. It was the only regional capital to be occupied since the invasion, and Russia declared it the center of the illegally annexed Kherson region.
Pro-Russian billboards on the way into town, along with occasional bursts of artillery, serve as a reminder that Russian President Vladimir Putin's men have not completely left. Kherson was apprehended in March, several weeks after the invasion began. The region was then one of four that were illegally annexed following phony referendums.
Putin stated at a ceremony in Moscow that the annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson was "unnegotiable." Russia continues to occupy the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, which were seized by Russian-backed separatists in 2014.
Russia has been internationally isolated as a result of the invasion, as highlighted on Monday by a UN General Assembly resolution calling for Russia to be held accountable for Ukraine. It was backed by 94 of the assembly's 193 members and is not legally binding but has political clout.
The president also spoke to a crowd in the city's main square, some of whom waved or wore Ukrainian flags draped across their shoulders. When asked where Ukrainian forces might move next, he replied: "No, not Moscow... We are not interested in another country's territories."
In addition, the president joked that he came to Kherson because he "wanted a watermelon," referring to the locally grown fruit that has become a popular Ukrainian symbol of resistance. Kherson, in comparison to other liberated areas, is relatively undamaged. The Kremlin attempted to make its occupation appear legitimate.

The Reclaiming Of Kherson

Zelensky walking in Kherson with soldiers around him
Zelensky walking in Kherson with soldiers around him
Zelensky's visit came just days after Ukrainian troops entered Kherson, the administrative center of the Kherson region after Russia withdrew its forces.
The takeover is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Kremlin, which invaded Ukraine on February 24 in the hopes of staging a lightning takeover that would destabilize the government in days.
Russia has repeatedly targeted Ukrainian infrastructure, and the country's national energy company said Moscow's forces destroyed a key energy facility before retreating from the Dnipro river's western bank.
Kherson was the first major urban center to fall to Russian forces and the only regional capital taken by Moscow's forces. Its recapture opens the door for Ukraine to the entire Kherson region, one of four announced by the Kremlin in September as annexed and part of Russia.
Putin vowed to use all available means to defend them against Ukrainian forces, including nuclear weapons.


Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have begun restoring essential services in Kherson, which Russia abandoned with no electricity, heat, water, or cellphone service. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, investigators have already documented over 400 Russian war crimes in the liberated region.
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