VLADIMIR Putin’s troops have withdrawn from a key Ukrainian city in a move dubbed a “black page for Russia” by pro-Kremlin sources.
Russian forces have reportedly been forced out of the southern city of Kherson, gateway to Crimea and the largest city of one of the four territories annexed in September.
Putin’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday ordered his troops out of the city and across the Dnipro River to take up defensive lines.
In a meeting of senior military officials, General Sergei Surovikin, Russia’s commander in Ukraine, said it was no longer possible to continue supplying the city.
Hy het gesê: “In these circumstances, the most sensible option is to organise the defence along a barrier line along the river Dnipro.”
Ilia Ponomarenko, a defence reporter at the Kyiv Post, said earlier on Wednesday that the retreating Russian army were “blowing up all bridges in Kherson Oblast” and removing their flags from the city.
It marks one of Russia’s most significant retreats since the start of the war and a potential turning point in the conflict that has raged since late February.
A pro-Kremlin blogger wrote on the messaging app Telegram: “This is a black page in the history of the Russian army. Of the Russian state. A tragic page.”
It comes after the Putin-installed puppet leader in Kherson was killed ure, following his warning to Russians to leave the city.
Former YouTuber Kirill Stremousov – reviled for a sick stunt swinging a baby round his head – had urged civilians to flee their homes while pumping out twisted pro-regime propaganda.