Zelensky visits Kherson, Kremlin responds
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warns that although Russia repositioned its troops, Russian forces ought not to be "underestimated".
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday it was "impossible to kill Ukraine" as he marched ingloriously in the city of Kherson in a surprise visit after Russia decided to withdraw its troops.
In the same context, The Washington Post quoted Zelensky as saying that Ukraine is ready for peace "for the sake of our country and all our lands."
Earlier today, Western and Ukrainian media reported that Zelensky had arrived in Kherson.
The Ukrainian President's visit came following the complete withdrawal of the Russian troops and hardware from the right bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson Region a few days ago, 8 months after the start of the military operation, citing the need to build up defense on the left bank.
Soon after that, the Ukrainian forces entered Kherson.
Kherson was the first major city to fall after the start of the Russian military operation last February.
Earlier today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that even though Russia withdrew its troops, Russian forces ought not to be "underestimated", stressing that difficult times lay ahead for Ukraine in the coming months.
In response, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that he will not comment on the reports of Western and Ukrainian media that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had arrived in Kherson, but recalled that this is Russia's territory.
"We leave it without comment, you know that this is the territory of the Russian Federation," Peskov said, answering a question about how the Kremlin views the reports of Zelensky's arrival in Kherson and whether Moscow considers it as a provocation from Kiev.
He had previously stated on November 11 that Kherson remains a part of Russian territory, that its status "can't be changed," and that the Special Military Operation can be achieved through negotiations but Ukraine was not interested.
Meanwhile, some videos circulating on Twitter showed civilians tied to polls and publicly humiliated over their pro-Russian stance.
💔😔Today more people in Ukraine were punished for being pro-Russia— @Sh..ab (@ShehabBawazeer2) November 13, 2022
Accused of being pro-Russian for receiving humanitarian aid, receiving some type of Russian pension or simply for living in a zone free of Russia. #Russia #Ukraine️ #Europe #Kherson #Biden #PSVAZ #NEWCHE #Nazi pic.twitter.com/qPmA2rfrp1
Kherson :— Angelo Giuliano 🇮🇹 🇨🇭/ living in 🇨🇳 (@Angelo4justice3) November 14, 2022
Nazi Ukrainians "liberating" the city. pic.twitter.com/qkmSw2G0sJ
Last Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed on Friday that the transfer of Russian troops to the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson Region was completed at 5.00 Moscow time (02:00 GMT).
On Wednesday, Commander of the Joint Russian Forces in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin reported to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that it was necessary to withdraw the troops from the right bank of the Dnipro river, including the city of Kherson, and organize a defense on its left bank, and the proposal was accepted by the minister.