Live: Locals rejoice over Russian retreat from Kherson as demining carried out

Issued on: 13/11/2022 – 09:56

A local resident looks at graffiti made by Banksy on the wall of a destroyed building in Borodyanka, near Kyiv on November 12, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. © Genya Savilov, AFP

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Ukrainians on Saturday hailed Russia’s retreat from Kherson, as Kyiv said it was working to demine the strategic southern city, record Russian crimes and restore power across the region. Read FRANCE 24’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+1). 


10:06pm: Russian atrocities in Kherson region ‘same’ as other regions, says Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused Russian soldiers of committing war crimes and killing civilians in Kherson, parts of which were retaken by Ukraine’s army last week after Russia pulled out.

“Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes. Bodies of dead civilians and servicemen have been found,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Sunday.

“The Russian army left behind the same savagery it did in other regions of the country it entered,” he said.

09:00pm: Fighting in Donetsk region remains intense, says Zelensky

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region was as intense as it had been in recent days with no letup in Russian attacks.

“Battles in Donetsk region are just as intense as they have been in previous days,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

“The level of Russian attacks has not declined. And the level of our resilience and courage is at its highest. We will not allow them through our defence.”

08:47pm: More than 400 Russian war crimes committed in freed Kherson, says Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that investigators had uncovered more than 400 Russian war crimes and found the bodies of both servicemen and civilians in areas of Kherson region freed from Russian occupation.

“Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes. Bodies of dead civilians and servicemen have been found,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

He said “stabilisation and the restoration of law” had been established in 226 settlements affecting more than 100,000 residents. Arrests of Russian soldiers and mercenaries were proceeding.

07:24pm: Kherson after Russian occupation

The Ukrainian police and authorities have been consolidating their control in Kherson following the Russian pull-out on Friday, including by re-establishing television and radio broadcasts to once more get information out to the general population.

Much work remains to be done. Before the Russians left, they destroyed a lot of public infrastructure which has left the city of Kherson without water, electricity, heating and communication services. Medical supplies and food are also in short supply.

FRANCE 24’s Luke Shrago reports:


12:53pm: Russia’s Lavrov arrives in Bali for G20 summit

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday arrived in Bali, Indonesia to attend a G20 summit, taking the place of president Vladimir Putin who decided not to attend.

Lavrov was received by a guard of honour and traditional dancers, but is expected to face criticism at the summit over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threat to use nuclear weapons in the conflict.

11:39am: After Kherson success, Kyiv vows to keep driving out Russia

Ukraine’s president vowed to keep pushing Russian forces out of his country after they withdrew from Kherson, leaving behind devastation, hunger and booby traps in the southern Ukrainian city.

The Russian retreat from marked a triumphant milestone in Ukraine’s pushback against Moscow’s invasion almost nine months ago. Kherson residents hugged and kissed the arriving Ukrainian troops in rapturous scenes.

“We will see many more such greetings” of Ukrainian soldiers liberating Russian-held territory,” President  said in his nightly video address Saturday.

He pledged to the people in Ukrainian cities and villages that are still under occupation: “We don’t forget anyone; we won’t leave anyone.”

The Russians destroyed bridges across the Dnipro river and infrastructure within the city, while leaving behind a lot of land mines and tripwires. The city of Kherson itself is now without heat, water or electricity. FRANCE 24’s Luke Shrago reports from Koblevo, in the Mykolaiv Oblast of Ukraine. 




09:13am: Russia’s Lavrov says West seeking to militarise southeast Asia

Russian Foreign Minister on Sunday said the West was “militarising” in a bid to contain Russian and Chinese interests, setting the stage for a confrontation between Russia and Western leaders at the G20 summit in Bali.

Lavrov will head Russia’s delegation to the summit – the first such meeting since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February – after the Kremlin said President was too busy to attend.

Ukraine is set to dominate the agenda with Western leaders likely to publicly confront Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and push the likes of China and India – which have both previously expressed concerns over the war – to criticise Moscow’s actions.

Speaking during a press conference at the conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, Lavrov scolded the United States over its actions in the region, which both Russia and the West see as a potential strategic geopolitical battleground in the coming decades.

07:30am: ‘We are Ukraine’: Locals joyful over Russian retreat from Kherson

was one of four regions in Ukraine that Russian President  claimed to have annexed in September. Weeks later, the Russian retreat from the city of Kherson has boosted Ukrainian resistance after nearly nine months of fighting and hardship.

In the formerly occupied village of Pravdyne, outside Kherson, returning locals embraced their neighbours, with some unable to hold back tears.

Several disabled anti-tank mines and grenades could be seen in the settlement, which is home to a Polish Roman Catholic church, with a number of damaged buildings also visible.

Speaking from Kherson city centre, Yaroslav Yanushevych, head of the regional state administration, said everything was being done to “return normal life” to the area. 

While demining is carried out, a curfew has been put in place and movement in and out of the city has been limited, Yanushevych explained in a video posted to social media, in which people could be seen celebrating in the background.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)


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