Michael Weiss and James Rushton report:
In the end, the Russian occupation of the east bank of Kherson simply evaporated.
A little over two days after Sergei Surovikin, commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the withdrawal of Russian forces east of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian army swept through Kherson province and its capital, where they were greeted by crowds of jubilant civilians.
The first indication that Ukrainian forces were making significant progress came early Thursday morning, when Snihurivka, a strategically important city that had previously anchored the Russian defense north of Kherson city, was liberated by the Ukrainian military.
A day earlier, the city had been the site of fierce clashes between the two sides, which had ended with retreating Russian troops destroying a number of bridges in an apparent attempt to delay the Ukrainian advance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that 41 settlements of varying sizes had been liberated by Ukrainian troops in the space of 24 hours.
As darkness fell on Thursday, Russian troops remaining on the “wrong” side of the Dnipro grew increasingly panicked.
Pro-Russian Telegram channels, never particularly optimistic about a war they haven’t fully supported even in the best of times, presented a dismal picture of Russian prospects. “If we keep fighting like this … we will lose Crimea,” one fighter complained in a video posted online. [Continue reading…]