Zelenskiy visits recaptured Kherson

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called Moscow's withdrawal from Kherson "the beginning of the end of the war" as visited the southern city, which is the biggest prize yet won by Ukrainian forces and where he has accused Russian forces of committing war crimes before they fled last week.

"We are moving forward," he told troops standing in formation in front of the administration building in the city's main square on Monday. "We are ready for peace, peace for all our country."

Zelenskiy thanked NATO and other allies for their support in the war against Russia and said the delivery of high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) from the United States had made a big difference for Kyiv.

Parents with children, some pushing baby strollers, also gathered in the main square. Some waved Ukrainian flags and others had the flag draped over their shoulders.

"I'm really happy, you can tell by the reaction of the people, their reaction is not staged," he said in a comments witnessed by a Reuters correspondent in Kherson.

Asked where Ukrainian forces might advance next, he said: "Not Moscow ... We're not interested in the territories of another country."

Minutes before he arrived, nearby shelling could be heard by people in the centre of Kherson. After Zelenskiy finished speaking, several more of blasts artillery gunfire echoed over the city.

People in the city greeted arriving Ukrainian troops with joy on Friday after Russia abandoned the only regional capital it had captured since Moscow launched its invasion.

In an overnight address, Zelenskiy he said investigators had already documented more than 400 war crimes committed by the Russia's during their eight month occupation.

"Bodies of dead civilians and servicemen have been found," he said. "The Russian army left behind the same savagery it did in other regions of the country it entered."

Reuters has spoken to residents in formerly occupied parts of Kherson region in recent days who have described killings and abductions of civilians but has not verified such reports independently. Russia denies its troops intentionally target civilians.

Mass graves have been found in several places across Ukraine since the start of the invasion on February 24, including civilian bodies showing evidence of torture discovered in the Kharkiv region and in Bucha, near Kyiv. Ukraine has accused Russian troops of committing the crimes.

A United Nations commission in October said war crimes were committed in Ukraine and that Russian forces were responsible for the "vast majority" of human rights violations in the early weeks of the war.

Villagers holding flowers waited on the road to Kherson to greet Ukrainian soldiers on Saturday as they poured in to secure control of the right bank of the Dnipro River.

This marks Moscow's third major retreat of the war and the first to involve yielding such a large occupied city in the face of a major Ukrainian counteroffensive using HIMARS.

The United States on Monday will announce new sanctions on a transnational network of individuals and companies that have been working to procure military technologies for Russia's war in Ukraine.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali the sanctions would target 14 individuals and 28 entities, including financial facilitators.

Russia has managed to procure drones from Iran that have been used to attack cities and power infrastructure in Ukraine.

The Ukraine Armed Forces' southern command said on Monday that Russian forces continued to "inflict fire damage on our troops and de-occupied settlements along the right bank of the Dnipro".

Ukraine's defence ministry said it had recaptured 179 settlements and 4500 square kilometres along the Dnipro River since the beginning of the week.

Ukrainian armed forces' general staff reported continued fierce fighting along the eastern front in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. During the past 24 hours, there have been missile and artillery strikes in Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk, Zelenskiy said in his overnight address.

"Battles in Donetsk region are just as intense as they have been in previous days," he said.

Reuters with AP