Kherson wakes up with no electricity, water or gas from a nightmare of nine months of Russian occupation

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Ukrainian secret services seek cooperation between civilians and Kiev offers voluntary evacuation to victims of attacks

“We have no electricity, no water, no gas, but we are free and that is the most important thing. Little by little, we will get the rest back,” are the words of Ludmila, who waits in a long queue at the Plaza de la Libertad in Kherson for the distribution of humanitarian aid. In one week, this city, the capital of the eponymous province in southern Ukraine, from being part of the Russian Federation to being once again under the control of Kiev, the change came after nine months of occupation and was consummated when the last Kremlin troops left the western part of the city to cross the river cross the Dnieper and entrench on the other bank.

Now Kherson is free, but the Ukrainian army has blocked the exit of civilians as intelligence agencies are busy capturing possible Russian collaborators who may have stayed behind to carry out sabotage. “They are a more dangerous weapon than a missile, so they must be located and canceled in time,” military sources in the city said.

“On the afternoon of the 10th they destroyed the power plant and then they left at 4:57 in the morning, crossing in barges. I saw them from my balcony because I live next to Antonivka Bridge. I don’t think they will come back because this has been a heavy defeat, they don’t have enough strength to cross the river and come back to this coast,” said Misha, a furniture businessman who has not visited the city since February. leave.

“The Russians and Ukrainians never agreed on civilian entry and exit and it was not safe at all. The route to Mikolaiv was a battle zone and anything could happen,” says Misha. Kiev authorities are offering voluntary evacuation to the elderly and residents whose homes have been damaged by attacks by Moscow forces.

The route to Mikolaiv is a 65-kilometer road with the main road blocked off, so you have to resort to rural roads and be very careful not to leave them because the Russians have left the place full of mines, the Ukrainian military said. The landscape on both sides of the road consists of destroyed villages.

At the entrance of Kherson it is noticeable that the city is intact, there is hardly any destruction. The Ukrainian officials assure that “this shows that we have not bombed our cities, but now we fear a Russian revenge and that they will start punishing the city from the other bank. You have to be prepared.” The roar of the drums is constantly in the air of this city where no one forgets that 70% of the province’s territory is still under Russian rule.

A week after the Russian withdrawal, Freedom Square has become the epicenter of life. That’s where the thousands of citizens who remain in the city go every day to wait for the trucks that arrive with all kinds of help, to charge their mobile phones in the generators set up in tents, to exchange their Russian phone cards for Ukrainian, to the concerts organized at the foot of the ancient pedestal where the statue of Lenin stood or watch the politicians who, like the president, Volodimir Zelensky, come to celebrate Ukraine’s greatest victory in this war. Before the conflict there were 280,000 people, now it is a mystery how many are left.

“We are helping our people with all the resources we have, but we need Europe and the United States to maintain their arms support. It is the only way to defeat Russia,” asks Pavlo Moroz, representative of a well-known chicken meat brand . who arrived in Kherson with two trucks full of tons of breasts. A tray is distributed per person and the families wait full to receive one per head. All help is needed.

“Will they let me call my son?” Ivan doesn’t have a mobile phone, he wrote down a number in a notebook and he gives it to this special envoy to call. The conversation lasts less than a minute. Enough to tell his people that he is alive and that he has no intention of leaving Kherson. “I stay because I think there is an agreement between Zelensky and Russia. Ukraine will once again supply Crimea with water and in return Moscow will leave this city,” he muses aloud before taking his walking stick to the long line that presides over Freedom Square, a place where happiness is observed despite the hard life after the occupation.

The International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) team deployed to the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant reported “explosions in a significant part of the nuclear power plant”. The agency’s director, Mariano Grossi, described what happened as “unacceptable” and asked “whoever is behind this to stop immediately because they are playing with fire”. Grossi’s proposal to create a security zone around the factory is not accepted by the Russians and Ukrainians and such a sensitive place remains right in the firing line.

Europe’s largest power plant has been under Moscow’s control since the beginning of the war, and both sides accuse each other of attacking the area. In this case, it was Moscow that blamed Ukraine for launching more than twenty “large-caliber projectiles”, which the defense ministry said allegedly hit between Blocks 4 and 5 and hit the roof of a “special building”. reaches. Russian operator Rosenergoatom now manages the plant and has assured that no increase in radiation has been observed despite the impacts.

The nuclear threat hanging over the war in Ukraine has a double face. On the one hand, there is the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons, on the other, disaster in some of the nuclear power plants on the front, such as the one in Zaporizhia. The six reactors have been shut down since Sept. 11, but on several occasions it was close to cutting off the electricity they constantly needed to keep the atomic fuel cool inside.

Source: La Verdad

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