“Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday it had completed the withdrawal of troops from the western bank of the Dnipro river in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region.
In its daily briefing, the ministry said all Russian forces and equipment had been transferred to the left, or eastern, bank of the Dnipro. It said the withdrawal was completed by 0500 Moscow time (0200 GMT) on Friday morning.
“The transfer of Russian troop units to the left bank of the Dnipro river has been completed,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
“Not a single unit of military equipment or weapons have been left on the right (western) bank. All Russian servicemen crossed to the left bank,” it added, saying that Russia had not suffered any loss of personnel or equipment during the withdrawal.
Reuters could not independently verify those details. Pro-Russian war bloggers had reported late on Thursday that Russian forces crossing the river were coming under heavy fire from Ukrainian forces. The ministry said Ukrainian forces had struck Dnipro River crossings five times overnight with U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket systems.
Russia ordered the withdrawal on Wednesday, saying it had concluded that attempts to maintain its position and supply troops, including in the regional capital Kherson, were “futile” in the face of a mounting Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The speed of the withdrawal was faster than Ukraine and the United States had said they expected.”
Comment: Ukrainian troops have reached the center of Kherson City without having met significant resistance from Russian forces so it may well be true that Russia has completed its withdrawal from the right bank to new positions east of the river. pl