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    Poland’s FM reckons Russian withdrawal from Kherson as crucial for Ukraine

    Russia’s withdrawal from the Ukrainian city of Kherson is an important step in Ukraine’s struggle to regain sovereignty and territorial integrity, Poland’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

    The Russian defence minister gave the order for Russian forces in Ukraine to retreat from the strategic city on Wednesday. The move has been seen as a significant blow to Russian prestige given that Kherson was the one regional capital in Ukraine it had managed to occupy.

     

    Speaking during an official trip to Paris, Zbigniew Rau said the pull-out could have been expected given the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian front line.

     

    Rau added that it was too early to assess the significance of the retreat when it came to Ukraine’s efforts to re-establish sovereignty over the western bank of the River Dnipro as well as the future of the river’s eastern bank.

     

    On Thursday, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying Russia was under heavy pressure from Ukraine after Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered his troops to leave Kherson on Wednesday.

     

    In late September, following the launch of a Ukrainian counter-offensive, the Kherson Oblast was one of four annexed by Russia following referendums dismissed by most countries as invalid.

     

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