Ukraine warns it could take weeks to scour Kherson for remnants of Russian forces
Russian military equipment destroyed near Kherson (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)
It could take several weeks to rid Kherson and other nearby liberated settlements of remaining Russian troops, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar told Ukrainian TV broadcasters on Nov. 11.
As forward Ukrainian special operations units were entering Kherson on Nov. 11 – cheered on by gathering crowds – Maliar noted that the bulk of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were just approaching the city’s outskirts.
When asked when the General Staff will officially declare the city liberated, Maliar noted that “it seems to people that the liberation means changing a flag – and that’s it.”
According to her, “stabilization measures” – sweeping the area for landmines and IEDs, weeding out remaining enemy troops and agents – usually take several weeks.
“We know all the names of people who went to cooperate with the enemy,” she added, on the topic of collaborators.
“Each and every one of them will be dealt with in accordance with the law. As for the invaders – we are opening legal proceedings on them.”
Maliar added that the Defense Ministry supports bringing the invaders to justice via legal means when possible, and that any captured Russians would replenish Ukraine’s POW exchange pool.
By Nov. 11, Ukraine was in almost complete control of Kherson, while Russia’s Defense Ministry reported its troops in the region have been withdrawn to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.
Meanwhile, local residents posted photos of stranded Russian soldiers who change into civilian clothes in an attempt to blend in with the crowds and avoid getting captured by Ukrainian forces.
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