Zelensky declares Kherson liberation as ‘beginning of the end’ of the war despite warnings

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The President of Ukraine was received with delight and jubilation on a surprise visit to the newly liberated city. Zelensky arrived on Monday for a flag-raising ceremony in which he placed his hand on his heart to the sound of explosions from areas not far off.

As the flag was raised above the Freedom Square in Kherson, Zelensky called the liberation the “beginning of the end of the war”.

He said: “We are, step by step, coming to all of our country. I am happy we are in Kherson.”

The President was surrounded by his security detail as he spoke to the locals who wore the Ukrainian flag and cheered his name as the national anthem rang out.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned after the retreat from Kherson that Russia is “a long way from giving up” in Ukraine and may send for more “cannon fodder”.

Mr Wallace said: “History will remind you that Russia can be brutal to their own. If they need more cannon fodder, that is what they’ll be doing.”

In Kherson, President Zelensky discarded suggestions that the liberation only occurred due to Russia’s withdrawal.

Zelensky said: “Nobody gave us anything. The price of this victory is considered very high. I think they ran because our army threatened the enemy, and they were in grave danger.

“There were intense fights and here is the result: We are here today in Kherson.”

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He said: “Russia is able to leverage its resources to keep the war running indefinitely. [Putin] hopes to shake the West’s willingness to continue to arm and bankroll the conflict.”

The latest intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defence said that “any decisions that the Russian General Staff make will be in part informed by the onset of winter”.

The changes in conditions will greatly impact the progression of the war and will “present unique challenges for fighting soldiers”, the update said.



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