KHERSON, Ukraine — A triumphant President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday visited this southern city recaptured just days ago by his country’s troops, saying in a speech in front of several hundred gathered in the central square that the victory marked the “beginning of the end of the war.”
CIA Director William J. Burns met in Ankara on Monday with his Russian counterpart to warn Moscow against using nuclear weapons in its war on Ukraine, according to a White House spokesperson who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation.
The Pentagon assesses that “tens of thousands of Russian forces” have evacuated to the eastern side of the Dnieper river in the retreat from the city of Kherson, in what a senior military official called a “very significant” development in the war. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under terms set by the Pentagon, added that Russians are “shoring up their defensive lines” on the eastern banks of the river in a bid to hold on to the territory on that side.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
1. Ukraine reclaims Kherson
2. Other key developments
5. From our correspondents
Fighting-age men in Russia are still hiding in fear of being sent to war: Even though Putin has proclaimed Russia’s recent military mobilization complete, many are scared they could be conscripted and deployed against their will to battle on the Ukrainian front. The Washington Post’s Mary Ilyushina interviewed six men who have spent weeks hiding in rented apartments, country houses and even a music studio — among thousands believed to be evading enlistment officers while remaining in Russia.
Among them is a young IT worker who lives in a tent in the forest to prevent military authorities from catching him, using solar panels and a satellite dish to work remotely. “I feared that I’d get drafted if I go to the store or that someone will come to my house,” he told The Post. He requested anonymity because he is hiding from the authorities. Survival in a forest is challenging, but better than the fate he believes would await him in Ukraine.
“They are suffering even before they get to the front line and can easily get, say, pneumonia, and no one will care, which put it into perspective for me,” he said. “I’m either mobilized and put into something akin to a prison, where you have no rights, just obligations, or I stay here, where I still have many problems and issues, but I am free.”
Pietsch reported from Seoul and Sands from London.