Gen Sergei Surovikin (Russia’s commander in Ukraine) said that it was not possible to continue providing food and water for the city.
Russian forces will be withdrawn entirely from the Western Bank of the River Dnipro.
It is a blow to Russia, as Ukraine counters it.
Russian state TV reported that the decision was made by the military’s top brass, with Gen Surovikin reporting from Kherson on the situation.
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, did not participate in the fake event. The man who orchestrated Russia’s failure in Ukraine war seemed to have left the announcement up to his generals.
Putin announced Russia’s annexation Kherson and three other territories at the end of September.
“In these conditions, the best choice is to organise defence along a barrierline along the river Dnipro,” Gen. Surovkin said.
However, Ukrainian officials were cautious in their handling of the decision to draw back across Dnipro.
President Volodymyr Zelesky, in his Wednesday nightly address, stated that Kyiv was moving “very cautiously” following the announcement.
He stated, “The enemy does no give us gifts, does NOT make ‘goodwill gestures’ to win it all, he said.
“Therefore we are moving carefully without emotions and without unnecessary risk in the interest of liberating all land and minimizing the losses.”
His advisor Mykhailo Polyak had earlier stated that “actions speak louder then words”.
Reports and rumours claiming that Russia would leave Kherson were circulating all week. A Ukrainian soldier said that the enemy was trying to lure them into a trap at a position near Kherson.
According to the Ukrainian commander, they had good intelligence and would only advance cautiously.
Kherson residents reported that Chechen troops from Russia were in Kherson after Russia announced it. They are also seen in cafes and walking around the streets.
Another civilian stated that “Visually, everything has not changed.” They are nearly invisible at the right bank [western] in Kherson. It has been like that for several days. They have already taken everything that they can.
“There are many of them on the left banks, and they are building fortifications alongside the Dnipro-Plavi river.”
Olga, another Kherson resident, stated to the BBC that there were less soldiers in the city.
She stated, “I’ve been in this occupation for a while but I chose to stay in Kherson because it seemed unfair to me to leave Kherson.” “I had no choice but to stay and face all the difficulties. It was my ordeal. I don’t know what I did, but I was forced to stay. It’s ending, and it makes me happy.
Both President Putin’s allies and their supporters, who were both critical of Russia’s war effort, welcomed the withdrawal.
Yevgeny Privozhin, founder and longtime associate of Putin, stated that the decision is not a “victory step”. However, it was important to “not anguish, not get paranoidal but to draw lessons and make mistakes.”
“The decision of [Gen] Surovikin was not easy but he behaved like a man who doesn’t fear taking responsibility.” He carried out the task in a systematic manner without fear, and he took full responsibility for the decision-making,” Mr. Prigozhin explained.
Ramzan Kadyrov (the Chechen leader) was chosen by Putin to head the autonomous republic in North Caucasus. In 2007, Putin selected him as the ruler. Gen Surovikin said that he had acted “like an actual military general, not afraid to criticize”.
Many people in Ukraine welcomed the decision, especially via social media. Some found humor in the process.
“Finally. a gesture. Goodwill,” Serhiy fursa, an economist and blogger, said on Facebook. This was in reference to Russia’s explanation for its previous military defeats.
Jens Stoltenberg was the secretary general of Nato and stated that it was encouraging to see Ukraine move forward.
He said that while the Ukrainian soldiers are the winners, the United Kingdom and its allies in NATO is crucial to their support.
Russian troops invaded the southern Ukraine, capturing Kherson City in the early months of March.
They also launched attacks on the country’s south, east, north and capital Kyiv. The Ukrainian forces have made remarkable advances over the past months.
In September, the Russian forces were driven back by Ukraine, who retook Kupiansk (both key supply points for Moscow) and Izyum (the capital of the counter-offensive). Russia has concentrated its military operations in the north, east, and south of Ukraine since then.
Moscow can’t portray this withdrawal other than as a humiliating setback. This is its largest loss since Ukraine captured large areas in and around Kharkiv at the beginning of autumn.
This further undermines Russia’s announcement of illegally annexed Ukrainian provinces, including Kherson. Russia said that the territory would remain Russian for “ever”.
But, as Mr. Podolyak warned Ukraine, there are many reasons to be cautious.
The first is the fact that the advancing Ukrainians will be able to see evidence of mines and boobytraps left behind by the Russians.
The second reason is that Russia, after having pulled its troops to the East Bank and “evacuated”, sometimes with force, large numbers civilians, will now be tempted bombard Kherson.
The trend in this war is to punish the civilian population whenever Russia experiences a significant military defeat.
More drone and missile strikes are expected to make winter in Ukraine miserable.
As one of the most vocal supporters of Kherson’s occupation, he had only six days earlier warned that Russian forces might have to cross over to the eastern bank.
Despite the slowing of the Ukrainian advance in recent weeks it was becoming more difficult for Russia to supply its Dnipro region with supplies after the few bridges that were left were destroyed by Ukrainian rockets.
Russia carried thousands of civilians by boat out of the city before the withdrawal. Ukraine called this forced deportation.
Gen Surovikin, who was a well-known commander in Russia’s recent operations against Syria, was appointed to manage Russia’s invasion last month.