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Ukraine takes Kherson after Russian forces retreat

A Ukrainian female soldier poses for a photo against a Kherson sign in the background, in Kherson, Ukraine, Nov 11, 2022. (DAGAZ / AP)

MOSCOW/KYIV – Ukraine has taken control of the southern city of Kherson after Russia transferred all its armed forces to the left (eastern) bank of the Dnieper River on Friday.

"In the Kherson direction today at 5 am Moscow time (0200 GMT), the transfer of units of Russian troops to the left bank of the Dnieper River was completed. Not a single piece of military equipment and weapons were left on the right bank," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing.

READ MORE: Russia announces Kherson troop withdrawal

There were no losses of personnel, weapons, military equipment and materials during the process, he said.

Kherson is returning under the control of Ukraine.

Main Intelligence Directorate, Defense Ministry, Ukraine

Konashenkov stressed that all Russian servicemen had crossed the river to the left bank and civilians who wanted to leave the right-bank part of the Kherson region had received assistance.

The Russian armed forces have established defensive lines in the left bank of the wide river, he said.

Later in the day, Konashenkov told reporters that over 30,000 Russian servicemen and nearly 5,000 pieces of equipment had been pulled back to the left bank.

Following the retreat of Russian troops, the Ukrainian armed forces entered Kherson city, located on the right (western) bank of the Dnieper River, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Defense Ministry said on Friday.

"Kherson is returning under the control of Ukraine," it said in a statement on Telegram, urging Russian soldiers who failed to leave to surrender.

ALOS READ: Talks with Moscow possible only if Russia withdraws, says Ukraine

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday ordered Russian troops in Ukraine to leave the right bank of the Dnieper River and strengthen the defense against Ukrainian offensives on the left bank.

Ukrainians gather in central Kyiv to celebrate the recapturing of Kherson city, Ukraine, Nov 11, 2022. (BERNAT ARMANGUE / AP)

While reporting to Shoigu, Sergei Surovikin, commander of Russia's joint group of forces in Ukraine, called it a difficult decision to withdraw but it would most importantly preserve the lives and combat capability of the Russian forces.

Russia bans 200 more Americans 

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday barred an additional 200 US citizens from entry in response to repeated anti-Russian sanctions imposed by Washington.

Of the newly blacklisted are officials and their close relatives, heads of companies, experts and lobbyists involved in the Russophobic campaign and support for Ukraine, the ministry said in a statement.

Now 1,073 US nationals are under Russian sanctions, including a travel ban, according to a full list issued by the ministry.