Live: Zelensky addresses troops in Kherson, says ‘we are moving forward’

Issued on: 14/11/2022 – 07:00

A local resident hugs a Ukrainian serviceman in central Kherson, Ukraine November 13, 2022. © Valentyn Ogirenko, Reuters

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Kherson and addressed troops there on Monday, days after Russian forces were forced to retreat from the southern city after months of occupation. Read FRANCE 24’s live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1). 


11:14am: Kremlin insists Kherson is Russian after Zelensky visit

The Kremlin on Monday insisted that Kherson was still part of Russia after Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky visited the southern city from which Moscow’s troops retreated last week.

“We leave this without comment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of Zelensky’s visit to Kherson, adding however: “You know, this territory is part of the Russian Federation.”

11:07am: G20 consensus statement on war in Ukraine to be ‘tough ride’, Germany’s Scholz says

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday that it would be difficult to come up with a clear statement on global issues and the war in Ukraine at the G20 meeting in Indonesia later this week.

“We are working very hard to ensure that we not only make clear, important statements on all the issues that affect the world together … but also on the issues of peace and the consequences of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine,” he said during a joint news conference with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“That’s going to be a tough ride, and I think it’s going to take up a lot of our time and efforts in Bali.”

11:05am: Kremlin ‘neither confirms nor denies’ talks with US in Turkey

The Kremlin said on Monday that it could neither confirm nor deny a report that Russian and US officials were holding talks in the Turkish capital Ankara.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that delegations from the two countries were meeting on Monday in the Turkish capital, citing a source.

Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence agency, was reportedly part of the Russian delegation, Kommersant said.

10:24am: Russia’s Lavrov dismisses AP report that he was taken to hospital at G20

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday dismissed an Associated Press report that he had been taken to hospital with a heart condition, scolding Western journalists for what he cast as false reporting.

Associated Press, citing Indonesian officials, said that Lavrov had been taken to hospital after arriving on the island of Bali for a Group of 20 summit. AP said Lavrov, 72, had been treated for a heart condition.

“This, of course, is the height of fakery,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Zakharova posted a video of Lavrov, President Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister since 2004, sitting outdoors on a patio, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt and reading documents.

Asked about the report, Lavrov said Western journalists had been writing falsely for a decade that Putin, 70, was ill.

10:19am: Zelensky addresses troops in Kherson, thanks allies for support

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Kherson and addressed troops there on Monday, days after Russian forces were forced to retreat from the southern city after months of occupation.

“We are moving forward,” he told troops standing in formation in front of the administration building in the city’s main square. “We are ready for peace, peace for all our country.”

Zelensky thanked NATO and other allies for their support in the war against Russia and said the delivery of high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) from the United States had made a big difference for Kyiv.

8:34am: Decision on negotiations with Russia is up to Ukraine, EU top diplomat says

It is up to Ukraine to decide when to enter negotiations with Russia, the European Union’s top diplomat said on Monday, commenting on speculations the West might push Kyiv to start talks with Moscow.

“Ukraine will decide what to do. Our duty is to support them”, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said as he arrived for a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Brussels.

5:53am: Ukraine war, tensions with China loom over G20

A showdown between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin isn’t happening, but fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing tensions between China and the West will be at the fore when leaders of the world’s biggest economies gather in tropical Bali this week.

The Group of 20 members begin talks on the Indonesian resort island Tuesday under the hopeful theme of “recover together, recover stronger”. While Putin is staying away, Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and get to know new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italy’s Giorgia Meloni.

The summit’s official priorities of health, sustainable energy and digital transformation are likely to be overshadowed by fears of a sputtering global economy and geopolitical tensions centered on the war in Ukraine.

The nearly 9-month-old conflict has disrupted trade in oil, natural gas and grain, and shifted much of the summit’s focus to food and energy security.

5:03am: New Zealand to train more Ukrainian troops, extends intelligence support

New Zealand said on Monday it would send a further 66 defence force personnel to the United Kingdom to help train Ukrainian soldiers as the Russian invasion grinds on for a ninth month.

New Zealand currently has a team of 120 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel training Ukrainians in the United Kingdom but this deployment was due to end. The new deployment will run from November 30 through until July 2023, a government statement said.

“I am pleased the NZDF infantry can offer the skills and experience for further training. This deployment also provides an opportunity for NZDF personnel to gain valuable experience,” said defence minister Peeni Henare.

4:17am: Russian atrocities in Kherson region same as other regions, Zelensky says

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that Ukrainian forces that retook the city of Kherson found evidence of new war crimes by Russian occupiers.

“The Russian army left behind the same atrocities as in other regions of our country,” he said in a nightly address.

“Investigators have already documented more than 400 war crimes,” the Ukrainian leader said, without clearly specifying the area in which they were found.

“The bodies of the killed are being found, both civilians and military,” he said. “We will find and bring to justice every murderer.”

Ukrainians in the liberated city have expressed a deep sense of relief over the end of months of occupation after Russian forces pulled out on Friday.

But, like Zelensky, they said the Russians had left a trail of destruction, laying mines and going on a looting spree – even stealing animals from a zoo – before their withdrawal.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)


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