Ukrainian soldiers reach centre of Kherson city after Russian retreat

Ukrainian soldiers have been warmly welcomed to Kherson city amid jubilant scenes marking the end of more than eight months of Russian occupation.

Troops have been greeted by residents waiting near the city's Garrison pub in the Korabelnyi district, in the most important Ukrainian victory since its defence of Kyiv in March.

Pictures of Ukrainian flags being raised in the centre of the city are being posted on social media a month after Vladimir Putin claimed sovereignty over the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian ministerial adviser Anton Gerashchenko has quoted local journalist Kostiantyn Ryzhenko, who wrote: "Resistance movement sends its regards. Slava Ukraini. The picture is current."

The Kremlin insisted Kherson was still part of Russia after announcing it had withdrawn all its troops and equipment from the city in the early hours of Friday.

03:49 PM

Today's top stories

  • Scenes of jubilation played out in Kherson today as Ukrainian troops entered the city centre to a warm welcome from locals

  • Ukraine has urged any Russian soldiers still in Kherson to surrender

  • Russia said it had completed its withdrawal from the region, which contains the only regional capital Moscow captured in its invasion

  • South Korea has reportedly signed off on a deal to send artillery shells to Ukraine through the United States

  • Russian troops destroyed major bridges over the Dnipro River as they crossed on barges, ferries and pontoon bridges

02:58 PM

More than 30,000 Russian troops withdrawn from Kherson, ministry says

Russia's defence ministry said more than 30,000 of its servicemen were withdrawn to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, Interfax news agency reported.

Russia's defence ministry said earlier on Friday it had completed the withdrawal of troops from the western bank of the Dnipro river in Ukraine's southern Kherson region.

01:53 PM

Kherson crowds chant 'ZSU' for Ukrainian armed forces

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01:49 PM

Ukraine orders Russians still in Kherson to surrender

Ukraine's defence intelligence agency has ordered any Russian troops that are still in Kherson to surrender immediately.

The statement was Kyiv's first official confirmation that its forces were in Kherson.

01:37 PM

France fears Putin could be more Kaiser Wilhelm II than Hitler, historian says

France and parts of the US establishment fear Vladimir Putin is more akin to Kaiser Wilhelm II than Hitler, a historian and Russia expert has told our live podcast on the latest on Kherson.

Owen Matthews said there was a large gulf between the Ukrainian belief that the "world would be a safer place once the Russian regime crumbles" and the West.

Adolf Hitler blamed Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor,  for losing World War One.

Mr Matthews said: "That's exactly what the Ukrainians think, but I think, that's certainly not what the French think...

"Certainly in the Elysee Palace and Macron has been saying since May: 'Putin must not be humiliated'."

He said Macron fears a post-Putin regime may be more nationalistic, asking: "What if Putin is not Hitler but  Kaiser Wilhelm II?"

He added: "That's certainly what the French fear and certain sections of the American political establishment."

01:16 PM

Kherson residents hug Ukrainian soldiers

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01:10 PM

We're live on Twitter talking about the latest from Kherson

🔊

Join @djknowles22, @FrancisDearnley and @RolandOliphant as they discuss the latest from Kherson, where Ukrainian soldiers have reportedly reached the city centre.

Listen here 👇https://t.co/NxyMdCGjis

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 11, 2022

01:03 PM

Ukrainian presidential adviser overcome with joy

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11:29 AM

Watch: Ukrainian forces shower missiles on retreating Russian troops as they flee Kherson

11:27 AM

Graphic shows 'blown up' Antonivskyi bridge within Kherson

10:30 AM

Kremlin says Kherson withdrawal complete with no casualties

Russia's defence ministry has said it has completed the withdrawal of troops and equipment from Kherson city and the rest of the western bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region.

According to the Russian TASS news agency, the ministry said all forces and hardware had been transferred to the eastern bank, the withdrawal  completed by 2am this morning.

It claimed it had not suffered any loss of personnel or equipment during the withdrawal.

09:41 AM

Kremlin says Kherson still part of Russia

The Kremlin has said Kherson is still part of Russia after announcing its forces were abandoning its regional capital to Ukrianian troops.

Goverment spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the southern region's status was "defined and fixed" and that no changes were possible  as online footage emerged of the Ukrainian flag being raised in the heart of the city.

Russia claimed Kherson and three other Ukrainian regions after holding what it called referendums in September – votes that were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.

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09:27 AM

South Korea to 'send shells to Ukraine via US'

South Korea has reportedly signed off on a confidential deal to send artillery shells to Ukraine for the first time through the United States, in a move that will potentially put Seoul at odds with Pyongyang and Moscow, writes Nicola Smith, the Telegraph's Asia correspondent.

The agreement, reported by the Wall Street Journal, will see the US purchase 100,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition to be delivered to Ukraine, reflecting the need to resupply globally dwindling stocks of munitions ten months after Russia invaded its neighbour.

Lee Jong-sup, Seoul’s defence minister, reportedly “agreed in principle” to the deal when he met with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this month.

The decision places the South in a possible proxy battle with its rival North Korea, which the White House accused last week of providing shells to Russia via shipments to the Middle East.

However, sending the weapons through the US allows Seoul, which has growing ambitions to be a major global arms supplier, to uphold its public pledge not to send lethal military support to Kyiv while also assisting Washington, its most important ally in defending South Korea from the North’s nuclear threat.

The rounds will be sufficient to supply Ukraine for several weeks at a defining time in the war when it is starting to make significant gains in forcing Russian forces out of the strategic city of Kherson.

09:03 AM

Russians 'destroy Antonivskyi bridge' in Kherson

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Russian forces are believed to have destroyed the Antonivskyi road bridge across the Dnipro river in Kherson city.

Online footage has shown a large section of the key supply bridge missing, as Moscow begins its prolonged withdrawal from the strategic capital in the south of Ukraine.

The Ministry of Defence described the bridge  as a "key vulnerability for Russian forces" as it came under repeated Ukrainian rocket fire, using US-made Himars systems, in the summer.

It is one of two important crossings across the Dnipro, the other near the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.

08:40 AM

Rescuers digging for survivors as Mykolaiv death toll rises to six

Six people were killed in a Russian rocket attack on an apartment building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv early on Friday, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said.

Rescuers were digging through the debris for survivors, Senkevych wrote on Telegram.

A woman is comforted by servicemen as she cries at the scene of night shelling in Mykolaiv, Ukraine -  Efrem Lukatsky/ AP
A woman is comforted by servicemen as she cries at the scene of night shelling in Mykolaiv, Ukraine - Efrem Lukatsky/ AP

08:29 AM

Ukrainian soldiers treated in Bakhmut, Donetsk

A Ukrainian soldier helps a wounded comrade at a hospital in Bakhmut, Donetsk region - Libkos/AP
A Ukrainian soldier helps a wounded comrade at a hospital in Bakhmut, Donetsk region - Libkos/AP
Ukrainian soldiers receive first aid in a hospital in Bakhmut - Libkos/AP
Ukrainian soldiers receive first aid in a hospital in Bakhmut - Libkos/AP
A Ukrainian soldier receives first aid in a hospital in Bakhmut, Donetsk region - Libkos/AP
A Ukrainian soldier receives first aid in a hospital in Bakhmut, Donetsk region - Libkos/AP

08:24 AM

Apartment block blast kills at least five in Mykolaiv, says Ukraine

At least five people have been killed after a Russian strike on five-storey apartment block, the southern city's regional governor has said.

Vitaliy Kim confirmed there had been fatalities in the latest fatal attack on the frontline city that has been battered for months by Russian forces.

In Donetsk, two were killed and five were injured in Russia's attacks over the past 24 hours, according to the region's governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

These did not include any attacks in occupied Mariupol and Volnovakha.

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08:13 AM

Ukraine negotiations with Russia 'not possible', top prosecutor says

Resuming negotations with Russia is "not possible", Ukraine's top prosecutor said amid reports US officials had encouraged Kyiv's leaders to hold talks to end the war.

Andriy Kostin told the BBC he is looking to establish a special international tribunal to hold Russia accountable for the war it began.

Repeating  demands for war reparations through the confiscation of Russian assets, Mr Kostin said: "People are suffering because of aggression of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin into Ukraine.

"They don't hear missiles. They don't know what is bombing. They don't know what is killing, rape, looting."

He acknowledged Europeans were paying higher prices for food and fuel but countered that "Ukrainians are paying for by their lives for the same struggle".

"I don't think that the issue of resuming any negotiations is possible," he said.

08:03 AM

'Monkey with a grenade' Putin unlikely to use nukes, Ukraine's defence chief says

Ukraine's defence minister described Vladimir Putin as a "monkey with a grenade" but said the Russian president was unlikely start a nuclear war as it would endanger its relations with India and China.

Vladimir Putin has indicated he would use nuclear weapons if needed to defend Russia, but Oleksii Reznikov said: "I don't think they will use it. But again, when you have a monkey with a grenade for a neighbour you have to estimate all kinds of risks."

He also dismissed as "crazy" the idea Moscow might blow up the vast southern Kakhovka dam as it withdraws from Kherson city, saying that such a move would flood areas controlled by Moscow and also cut off their access to fresh water supply via a canal from the Dnipro river to annexed Crimea.

Both sides in the conflict have accused the other of planning to destroy the dam.

07:45 AM

TV centre blown up amid looting in Kherson

A TV broadcasting centre has been blown in Kherson city amid widespread looting after Russia announced its withdrawal from the key port city, local Ukrainian media say.

The Ukrainian-appointed governor of Kherson region, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said Russian troops had "taken away public equipment, damaged power lines and wanted to leave a trap behind them".

Deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar added on Telegram: "The Russian Federation is looting our museums in the temporarily occupied territories, removing Wi-Fi routers from homes and physically abusing our people. It is hopeless civilizational backwardness."

News site IMI said: "Today, during the day, Russian troops blew up the broadcasting centre of Kherson television.

"According to our contacts the [television] tower remained intact."