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Russia’s war on Ukraine latest news: Ukrainians celebrate retaking of Kherson

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Jubilant residents welcomed Ukrainian troops arriving on Friday in the center of the strategic city of Kherson after Russia abandoned the only regional capital it had captured since its invasion began in February.

KHERSON RETREAT

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* Britain said Russia’s withdrawal from the only regional capital in Ukraine that it had captured since its invasion began in February was another humiliation for its army but Moscow continued to pose a threat.

* In a video address on Friday evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed “a historic day” in getting Kherson back. Special units of the military were inside with defending troops on the outskirts, he said.

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* Russia’s defense ministry said it had withdrawn more than 30,000 soldiers across the Dnipro River in its retreat, without losing a soldier. But Ukrainians described a chaotic retreat, with Russian troops ditching their uniforms or drowning trying to escape.

* The Kremlin said on Friday that Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson’s capital would not change the region’s status as annexed by Russia.

* Significant new damage to the major Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine can be seen following Russia’s withdrawal from nearby Kherson, U.S. satellite imagery company Maxar said on Friday.

OTHER UKRAINE-RELATED NEWS

* Turkey is committed to seeking a peace dialog between Russia and Ukraine, Turkish media cited President Tayyip Erdogan as saying, as he accused the United States and other Western countries of provoking Moscow.

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* Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, at an Asian summit in Cambodia, urged Southeast Asian countries to take all measures possible to stop Russia from playing “hunger games” over a Black Sea grain deal that could expire next week.

* Russia restated its insistence on unhindered access to world markets for its food and fertilizer exports after what it called a “thorough exchange of views” with U.N. officials the day before in Geneva.

* Russian fertilizer producer Uralchem-Uralkali has agreed with the Netherlands, Estonia and Belgium to supply cargoes of fertilizers stranded in those countries to Africa, TASS news agency reported.

* Ukraine said on Friday it is building a reinforced concrete wall and other fortifications on its border with Belarus, a Kremlin ally that Moscow used as a staging ground for its Feb. 24 invasion.

* Renowned graffiti artist Banksy unveiled a work in the Ukrainian town of Borodyanka, which had been occupied by Russia until April and heavily damaged by fighting in the early days of Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.

* Russian-based international ballet dancers from elite companies like the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky who fled the country, leaving behind their lives, jobs and belongings, are reuniting for one performance in California on Saturday. (Compiled by William Mallard and Frances Kerry)

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