A day of joy for Ukrainians as Russia leaves Kherson

Ukrainians are celebrating their win over Kherson as the Russian forces have exited the area after capturing it for over eight months. On November 9, the Russian forces announced that it will be withdrawing from Kherson, one of the most important areas for Ukraine. The Russian military said that staying at Kherson was not feasible to maintain their position due to supply difficulties. On November 11, after two days, the Russian military announced that it had completed the evacuation of Kherson, suggesting Ukraine’s win over the region. The residents of Kherson marched to the streets with joy and hope, to celebrate their liberation and freedom from the Russian invasion.

Kherson is one of the well-known cities in Ukraine, which was captured by the Russian troops on February 24. Before this invasion, Kherson had a total population of around 280,000 people, which decreased drastically due to this invasion as people flew toward safer places. Since then, the Ukrainian troops were using their full power to take back control over Kherson. The Ukrainian troops targeted the key bridge located on the Dnieper river, which was being used by the Russian troops to get their supplies. Once the bridge was destroyed, the Russian troops were forced to use ferries for getting their supplies, which were also later targeted by the Ukrainians to create tensions among the Russians. Gen Sergei Surovikin, who was commanding the Russian military in Ukraine, conveyed the situation to Sergei Shoigu, the Defense Minister of Russia, who later agreed to retreat the Russian troops from Kherson. This marked another major failure for the Russian military. 

As on Friday, the Russian military announced its withdrawal, the residents of Kherson started celebrating their freedom and the win for the Ukrainian army. The celebration continued for the third day on Sunday, as Kherson's main square witnessed massive crowd gatherings. Some residents celebrated the win as if it was a new year for them. Some people addressed freedom for the public and a new life for the city of Kherson. Although cellphone connections are still out due to the destruction in war, people queued in lines to use satellite phones to convey the news to their families and friends. The gatherings were filled with yellow and blue colored Ukrainian flags. Many people were also waiting in line to get the soldiers to sign their flags and to get hugs from these heroes of Ukraine. 

Now that the celebration is over, the residents of Kherson and the Ukrainian government have to face the issues which the city faced during the war. There is still a significant part of Kherson under the control of the Russian troops, which the Ukrainian army has to recapture. The city lost much of its infrastructure during the attacks by Russian troops and the efforts by Ukrainian troops to get back control, which needs to be established. Kherson still does not have a running cell phone connection, running water, and electricity. It is also harder to get the necessary supplies in the city. But now that the Ukrainians have got their control over Kherson back, fixing these problems will be easier.