Videos shared online Friday, shows Ukrainian soldiers receiving a hero’s welcome as they returned to the formerly occupied city of Kherson, after Russia announced its forces had retreated from the area.
The video shows residents chanting in support of the Ukrainian army, hugging the soldiers, taking selfies with them, and hoisting them up on their shoulders in celebration.
Other photos and videos Friday showed the Ukrainian flag returned to the local police station and at the city administration building.
Russia captured Kherson shortly after its invasion in February.
But Russia’s defense minister said this week that it was no longer possible to keep the city of Kherson supplied, so its troops would retreat. It was seen as a major setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We continue to liberate our land from the occupiers,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Telegram Friday. “We must return peaceful life to our people. They have been waiting for this for a long time.”