Russia says it has completed Kherson withdrawal

STORY: In its daily briefing, the ministry said all Russian forces and equipment had been transferred to the left, or eastern, bank of the Dnipro. It said the withdrawal was completed by 0500 Moscow time (0200 GMT) on Friday morning.

Reuters could not independently verify those details. Pro-Russian bloggers had reported late on Thursday that Russian forces crossing the river were coming under heavy fire from Ukrainian forces. The ministry said Ukrainian forces had struck Dnipro River crossings five times overnight with U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket systems.

Russia ordered the withdrawal on Wednesday, saying it had concluded that attempts to maintain its position and supply troops, including in the regional capital Kherson, were "futile" in the face of a mounting Ukrainian counteroffensive.