Russia's announcement that it has completed its withdrawal from Kherson, the only Ukrainian provincial capital it captured during the war, has been met with celebration by many in Ukraine and the West. Some in the US government have even suggested that this could be an opportunity for diplomatic talks. However, President Joe Biden has said that the timing of any talks must be decided by Ukraine.
Analysts have warned that the Russian pullout from Kherson in southern Ukraine is likely to be fraught with danger for both sides.
Ukraine's government said it was skeptical about Russia's withdrawal, but its forces on the ground appeared to be exploiting the opportunity to target large groups of Russian troops preparing to withdraw.
Octavio Marenzi, CEO of management consultancy Opimas, has said that people have started to ignore the war in Ukraine, although it is likely to heat up in the coming months.
Marenzi told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" that he thinks the market will be caught off-guard by the move.
Marenzi stated that people were focusing on earnings, inflation, and Bitcoin rather than the conflict.
Marenzi stated that there was an "irrational exuberance" after U.S. inflation figures were released.
The Russian defense ministry has announced that Russian forces have completed their withdrawal from Ukraine's southern region of Kherson. This withdrawal, which involved tens of thousands of troops, was expected to take significantly longer according to Western and Ukrainian leaders and analysts.
On Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered a withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson, as Ukrainian forces continued to make steady progress in their advance into the territory. This is the only provincial capital that Moscow has captured since the start of the war, and Russian President Vladimir Putin declared it annexed in late September. However, this move is illegal under international law, and the Kremlin says that Kherson is still part of Russia.
All of Russia's forces and equipment were moved to the eastern bank of the Dnieper river, and the withdrawal was completed by 5:00 a.m. Moscow time, according to the country's defense ministry.
The Russian Defense Ministry has announced that all Russian troops and equipment have been successfully transferred to the left bank of the Dnipro River. No casualties or losses were incurred during the operation. This withdrawal marks a significant step in the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement.
Although some Ukrainian officials and analysts are skeptical of the Russian retreat, Kherson regional authorities have instructed residents to stay indoors while they conduct searches for any potential remaining Russian soldiers. While there may be some dangers left behind, like mines, authorities are taking precautions to ensure the safety of residents.
Kherson city in Ukraine's south is now under the control of Ukrainian forces, according to a member of Kherson's regional council. This news comes from Sky News, which published a photo of the Ukrainian flag being raised in the city center by what appeared to be civilians
.Local Ukrainian authorities have advised residents of Kherson to stay at home while Ukrainian forces carry out searches for any remaining Russian soldiers in the area.
Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, quoted local journalist Kostiantyn Ryzhenko as saying: "The resistance movement sends its regards. Slava Ukraini. The picture is current."
Although some people in Ukraine and the West are celebrating Russia's recent announcement that it is withdrawing from Ukraine's Kherson province, officials in Kyiv are still skeptical. Some people fear that this may be a trap.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential advisor, said on Wednesday that it was still too early to speak about a Russian troop pullout from the area. On Thursday, he warned that Russia was planning to turn Kherson into a “city of death” for the incoming Ukrainian forces.
Military analysts have noted the possibility of Russian forces laying mines in the area as they retreat. This could put Ukrainian troops in a position where they could be targeted with artillery from across the Dnieper River.
The United States' top general sees potential for diplomatic talks between Russia and Ukraine as Russian forces retreat from the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. This retreat comes just six weeks after Moscow illegally annexed the region.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that while the future is uncertain, there may be some room for diplomatic solutions.
He also said that Russia's withdrawal, which is suspected to be in preparation for a spring offensive, and next week's G-20 summit present "a window of opportunity for negotiation."
Although the view that Ukraine should compromise with Russia has not been explicitly endorsed by the White House, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that it remains to be seen whether or not Ukraine is prepared to do so.
Biden's national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said Thursday that it is "ultimately up to the Ukrainians" to decide on the right timing for any talks.
According to analysts, Russia's withdrawal from a large chunk of Kherson in southern Ukraine is likely to be fraught with danger for both sides in the war.
The withdrawal of Russian troops from the region is likely to pose major challenges for both the Russians and Ukrainian troops as they try to reoccupy Kherson city and the surrounding area.
Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War noted Wednesday evening that the battle of Kherson is not over, but Russian forces have entered a new phase, prioritizing withdrawing their forces across the river in good order and delaying Ukrainian forces, rather than seeking to halt the Ukrainian counteroffensive entirely.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations warned that America would unleash the full force of its response if Russia carried out its "horrific" threats of a nuclear strike against its enemies.
In an interview with NBC News, Linda Thomas-Greenfield condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin's threats to use tactical nuclear weapons as "irresponsible." Thomas-Greenfield was speaking at a center for displaced people in Irpin, a town west of Kyiv.
"We are aware of the Russian government's capability for lies and deception," she said. "We take their threats seriously and have made it clear to them that any such actions will be met with consequences."
Thomas-Greenfield said that it is "out of the question" to think that Russia would use such weapons, but added that "if they made that mistake, they could be sure that the whole world would turn against them."
"We are still receiving threats," she said. "And as I said, we take those threats very seriously."
The White House has said that President Joe Biden has no plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.
Lavrov will represent Russia at the international forum in Bali, Indonesia, as President Vladimir Putin will not be in attendance.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine will address the G-20 summit by video teleconference. Zelenskyy has not left his country since Russia's late February invasion.
Photos show damaged equipment at a high-voltage substation of the operator Ukrenergo after a missile attack in central Ukraine. This comes as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.
President Joe Biden is expected to discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week in a face-to-face meeting. This will be an important opportunity for the two leaders to discuss a major international issue and to strengthen their relationship.
The meeting between the two leaders, the first since Biden became president, will take place before the G-20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
The senior Biden administration official said that they believe the president will be honest and direct with President Xi about the situation in Ukraine with Russia's war of aggression.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that this is a topic that the president and President Xi have spoken about several times before. They spoke about it extensively in March in their video call and then they spoke about it again in July, so it’s part of an ongoing conversation between the two of them.
Ukraine has attacked Russian units in Kherson, claiming that Moscow did not request a «green corridor» for withdrawal.
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