Kyiv remains skeptical about Russia’s pullout of Kherson

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Nov. 10 (UPI) — Kyiv remained skeptical on Thursday about Moscow announcing a pullout from Kherson, which has been Russia’s biggest prize during its nearly 10-month invasion of Ukraine, warning it could be a trap.

The Ukrainian military said it recaptured Snihurivka, a town in the southern Mykolaiv region that lies on the main road to Kherson, the only regional capital Russia captured during its invasion.

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On Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered a withdrawal of Russian forces from the west bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region.

Mykhailo Podolyak, the advisor of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, charged Russia wants to turn Kherson into a “city of death” by littering it with landmines while leaving behind looted and heavily damaged homes and buildings.

“[Russian Federation] mines everything they can: apartments, sewers,” Podolyak said. “Artillery on the left bank plans to turn the city into ruins. This is what ‘Russian world’ looks like: came, robbed, celebrated, killed ‘witnesses,’ left ruins and left.”

Regardless, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called Russia’s apparent withdrawal from Kherson, an area Russian President Vladimir Putin said in September was annexed as part of Russia, a win for Kyiv.

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“We have to see how the situation on the ground develops in the coming days,” Stoltenberg said after talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Room. “But what is clear is that Russia is under heavy pressure and if they leave Kherson, it would be another victory for Ukraine.”