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Kherson: President Zelensky visits liberated city


President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited the city of Kherson days after it was liberated by Ukrainian troops.

He spoke to soldiers gathered in the city, saying Ukraine is “moving forward” and is ready for peace.

The loss of Kherson, taken in the early stages of the invasion, is a major setback for Russia.

Moscow had declared it the administrative centre of the illegally-annexed Kherson region, and it was the only regional capital to be occupied.

Ukrainian troops entered the city on Friday, for the first time since March.

In the following days, locals were seen celebrating, as some reunited with loved ones they had not seen for months.

Mr Zelensky told troops on Monday that Ukraine is “ready for peace, peace for all our country,” the Reuters news agency reported.

He thanked Nato and other allies for their support in the war against Russia, adding that high mobility artillery rocket systems (Himars) from the United States had made a big difference for Kyiv.

The president addressed a crowd gathered in Kherson’s main square, some of whom waved Ukrainian flags or wore them draped across their shoulders, a Reuters journalist in Kherson said.

Mr Zelensky said he is “really happy” about the liberation, as are the people of Ukraine.

Asked where Ukrainian forces might advance next, he said: “Not Moscow…We’re not interested in the territories of another country.”

Mr Zelensky had previously said that investigators have uncovered more than 400 war crimes in areas of Kherson abandoned by Russian forces as they retreated.

The BBC has been unable to verify these allegations, and Moscow denies that its troops intentionally target civilians.

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