Ukraine war: Kherson liberation first anniversary marked as Russia investigates train derailment

A serviceman mourns next to a Ukrainian flag at a makeshift memorial for fallen soldiers at Independence Square in Kyiv
A serviceman mourns next to a Ukrainian flag at a makeshift memorial for fallen soldiers at Independence Square in Kyiv Copyright SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP or licensors
By Saskia O'Donoghue with AP & AFP
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The latest developments from the Ukraine war.

Ukraine marks first anniversary of the liberation of Kherson


Ukraine has marked the first anniversary of the liberation by its army of Kherson, "a city synonymous with hope".

On 11 November, 2022, Ukrainian forces ended eight months of occupation of the large city in southern Ukraine by Moscow's army.

Kherson was the first major city and the only regional capital to fall into the hands of the Russians at the start of their invasion launched in February 2022.

On Saturday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid tribute to the city, praising its “heroism”.

“This day is one of the anniversaries that strengthen the confidence of Ukrainians in their abilities,” he said in a video posted on his Telegram channel.

“This year, Russia took revenge for the freedom of Kherson and other of our liberated cities. The bombings are continuing daily,” he continued.

Even now Kherson is no longer occupied, life there remains very difficult, as in many Ukrainian regions.

The inhabitants of the southern city, who live in terror of almost daily Russian bombings, number only 60,000 according to the authorities, compared to 300,000 before the war.

Russian investigation opened for ‘terrorist act’ after train derailment

Russian authorities have opened an investigation into a so-called "terrorist act" following the derailment of a freight train on Saturday in a region southeast of Moscow, the Russian Investigative Committee announced.

The triggering of a “homemade explosive device” caused the derailment of 19 wagons in the morning, 15 of which were damaged, in the Ryazan region, they alleged in a message on Telegram.

The Investigative Committee said it had opened an investigation for a “terrorist act” and the acquisition, transport or storage of explosives.

An employee was slightly injured, the state-owned Russian Railways claimed, adding that the derailment was due to "the intervention of unauthorised persons".

Numerous sabotages on railway tracks in Russia have been reported since Moscow launched its offensive against Ukraine in February 2022. On several occasions, Moscow has accused Kiev of being responsible.

The authorities have not yet accused Ukraine of being responsible for Saturday's derailment.

Investigators are seeking to establish “all the circumstances of the incident and the persons involved in the crime,” the Investigative Committee added.

Two explosions heard in Kyiv centre

Two loud explosions have been heardin the centre of Kyiv shortly before air alert sirens sounded in the Ukrainian capital, regularly targeted by Russian missiles.

"According to preliminary information, air defence worked against ballistic weapons. Alert continues, stay in shelters," city mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.


“No casualties have been reported so far,” he added.

AFP journalists saw two lines of white smoke in the sky, probably left by two Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence missiles, just before the two explosions.

Air warning sirens then sounded in the capital, last hit at the end of September by Russian strikes.

Last winter, systematic strikes on Ukraine's energy system regularly left thousands of homes without heat.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country had deployed new air defence systems supplied by its Western allies, in anticipation of a new wave of Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure.


Ukraine says it shot down 19 of 31 drones launched by Russia overnight

Ukraine has announced it has shot down about two-thirds of 31 attack drones launched overnight, mainly at frontline areas, by Moscow, which also targeted the capital Kiev in the morning.

"Nineteen Shahed-136/131 attack drones were destroyed. The Russian occupiers sent most of the attack drones to the frontline areas," the Air Force said, adding that Russia had also used several missiles.

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