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Russian forces destroyed key infrastructure in Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson before fleeing, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, as his counterparts in Russia and Iran vowed to deepen economic, political and trade ties.

Ukraine troops greeted with flowers in Kherson after Russian retreat

Kherson retreat

  • “There it is just hell - there are extremely fierce battles there every day,” Zelenskiy said of the Donetsk region in a video address. “But our units are defending bravely - they are withstanding the terrible pressure of the invaders, preserving our defence lines.”

  • Britain said Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson, the only regional capital in Ukraine that it had captured since invading in February, was another humiliation for its army but Moscow continued to pose a threat.

  • Kherson residents held flowers and kissed Ukrainian soldiers who were moving into the right bank of the Dnipro River after Russia’s stunning retreat.

Diplomacy, economy, other

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, emphasised “further enhancing cooperation in the political, trade and economic fields, including the transport and logistics sector” during a phone call, the Kremlin said.

  • Ukraine will decide the timing and contents of any negotiation framework with Russia, according to a readout of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Phnom Penh.

  • Russia said there was no agreement yet to extend a deal allowing Ukraine to export grain via the Black Sea, repeating its insistence on unhindered access to world markets for its own food and fertiliser exports.

  • 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.

  • Russia restated its insistence on unhindered access to world markets for its food and fertiliser exports after what it called a “thorough exchange of views” with UN officials the day before in Geneva.

  • 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.

  • Renowned graffiti artist Banksy unveiled a work in the Ukrainian town of Borodyanka, which had been occupied by Russia until April and heavily damaged by fighting in the early days of Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour.

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