News ID: 108980
Publish Date : 14 November 2022 - 21:41

Kremlin Says Kherson Part of Russia as Zelensky Visits City

MOSCOW (Dispatches) -- 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.”
In an overnight address, Zelensky said investigators had already documented more than 400 war crimes committed by the Russia’s during their eight month occupation.
“Bodies of dead civilians and servicemen have been found,” he said. “The Russian army left behind the same savagery it did in other regions of the country it entered.”
Russia denies its troops intentionally target civilians or have committed atrocities in occupied areas.
Military gains are expected to become harder as winter sets in. But, asked whether the recapture of Kherson could be the beginning of the end of the war, Zelensky replied: “Of course. “You see our strong army. We are step by step coming (moving) through our country, the temporarily occupied territories.”
Zelensky thanked NATO and other allies for their support and said the delivery of high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) from the United States had made a big difference to Ukraine’s war effort.
“I’m really happy, you can tell by the reaction of the people, their reaction is not staged,” said Zelenskiy, who was flanked by heavily armed security guards.
The president spent about 30 minutes in Kherson before leaving. Minutes before he arrived, nearby shelling could be heard in the centre of Kherson. After he finished speaking, several more blasts of artillery gunfire echoed over the city.
Ukrainian troops reached the centre of Kherson on Friday after Russia abandoned the only regional capital it had captured since the Feb. 24 breakout of the war.
Ukraine has said it is ready for peace talks but not with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Foreign Ministry spokesman reiterated Ukraine’s terms on Facebook on Monday.
“Ukraine’s peace formula remains unchanged: an immediate end to the war, the withdrawal of all Russian troops, the restoration of Ukrainian territorial integrity, compensation for the damage caused, and the provision of effective guarantees of non-repetition of aggression,” he wrote.