© Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news conference with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (not seen), as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 31, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi
(Reuters) – Jubilant residents welcomed Ukrainian troops arriving on Friday in the centre of the strategic city of Kherson after Russia abandoned the only regional capital it had captured since its invasion began in February.
* In a video address on Friday evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed “a historic day” in getting Kherson back. Special units of the military were inside with defending troops on the outskirts, he said.
* Russia’s defence ministry said it had withdrawn more than 30,000 soldiers across the Dnipro River in its retreat, without losing a soldier. But Ukrainians described a chaotic retreat, with Russian troops ditching their uniforms or drowning trying to escape.
* The Kremlin said on Friday that Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson’s capital would not change the region’s status as annexed by Russia.
* Significant new damage to the major Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine can be seen following Russia’s withdrawal from nearby Kherson, U.S. satellite imagery company Maxar said on Friday.
OTHER UKRAINE-RELATED NEWS
* Turkey is committed to seeking a peace dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, Turkish media cited President Tayyip Erdogan as saying, as he accused the United States and other Western countries of provoking Moscow.
* Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, at an Asian summit in Cambodia, urged Southeast Asian countries to take all measures possible to stop Russia from playing “hunger games” over a Black Sea grain deal that could expire next week.
* Senior U.N. officials met with a Russian delegation in Geneva on Friday to discuss Moscow’s grievances about the Black Sea grains export initiative and address the need for unimpeded food and fertilizer exports, a U.N. spokesperson said.
* Russian fertilizer producer Uralchem-Uralkali has agreed with the Netherlands, Estonia and Belgium to supply cargoes of fertilizers stranded in those countries to Africa, TASS news agency reported.
* Ukraine said on Friday it is building a reinforced concrete wall and other fortifications on its border with Belarus, a Kremlin ally that Moscow used as a staging ground for its Feb. 24 invasion.
* Russian-based international ballet dancers from elite companies like the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky who fled the country, leaving behind their lives, jobs and belongings, are reuniting for one performance in California on Saturday.