Zelenskiy: 'We are getting Kherson back', hails historic day

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news conference with Czech Prime Minister Fiala in Kyiv

(Reuters) -Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday said special units of the armed forces were already in the southern city of Kherson following Russia's withdrawal and described the moment as historic.

Joyous residents welcomed troops in the city centre after Russia abandoned the only regional capital it had captured since its invasion in February.

"Today is a historic day. We are getting the south of the country back, we are getting Kherson back," Zelenskiy said in an evening video address.

"As of now, our defenders are on the outskirts of the city, and we are very close to entering. But special units are already in the city," he continued.

Zelenskiy said that measures to make Kherson safe - in particular, efforts to remove what he called a lot of mines -would start as soon as possible.

He also said Ukrainian forces were strengthening their positions everywhere along the front, but did not give details.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)