Kherson resident describes a ghost town of exhausted people

Kherson has described the situation in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city

Mon October 24, 2022

A resident of Kherson has described the situation in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city as tense, with people “emotionally exhausted,” the streets empty from mid-afternoon onwards, and Russian soldiers often seen in civilian clothes.

The woman was contacted by a third party and was speaking just before the civilian population of Kherson was told to evacuate by the Russian-appointed government as Ukraine attempts to reclaim the city in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion.

The government declared on Saturday that “all civilians must immediately evacuate the city and cross to the East side of the Dnipro” owing to the “tight situation at the front, the heightened danger of heavy bombardment of the city, and the threat of terrorist attacks.”

Authorities had previously advised individuals to evacuate; however, Saturday’s warning seems to go farther.

The female civilian from Kherson city said thus in a statement on Friday: “Unfortunately, many Kherson inhabitants had to think about leaving the city. Each person had their own motivations, concerns, and fears. But I’m positive that nobody wished to go.

She claimed that Kherson was now a deserted city. Since the Russian occupation began in March, tens of thousands of its citizens have gone.

“In the evening, there are several high-rise structures that have no more than two or three windows lit. Near the market is where most people can be found during the day. But between 3 and 4 p.m., nobody is around and the streets are completely vacant.

A Ukrainian official named Yuriy Sobolevskyi said on Telegram on Saturday that all of Kherson’s elevators had been shut off by the “miserable vermin who harass Kherson.”

She claimed that she was not thinking about leaving. “To tell you the truth, this question enrages me. Kherson is my home, and here is my land. From the very beginning of the conflict, we participated in demonstrations against the occupiers and gave it our best in the battle. This conflict is still ongoing.

The woman claimed that she had not heard of anyone being made to leave over the previous few days. Some individuals were still attempting to cross at Vasylivka in the nearby Zaporizhia region, the sole active crossing between Russian and Ukrainian-controlled territory.

It’s uncertain whether that circumstance will change in light of the most recent directives from the authority designated by Russia.

The woman claimed that there was tension across the city. “People are emotionally worn out, and some choose to stay at home to avoid interaction with the military. Here, it is impossible to unwind. When I hear a car drive by the house in the evening, I begin to worry since a car at that time of day is not a good omen.

The majority of people who had remained, she said, were aware that the Ukrainian military “would never damage the populace and there will be no shelling of residents.”

While utilities were still operating, the woman claimed that people were concerned about having enough power and heat over the winter. “The impending winter has everyone in fear.”

She claimed that there was sufficient basic food on hand. “Kherson has essentially become one big open-air bazaar where people sell whatever they can. Someone bakes their own bread, someone bakes cakes, and someone simply sells their wares on a sheet in the middle of the street.

She wasn’t sure how food deliveries from the east side would continue, though, given that the Russians had stolen people’s boats.

The mother claimed that baby formula and medical supplies were both pricey and in low supply. All imports at the moment are pharmaceuticals from the Russian Federation. Medicines are simply sold on the street from a car or privately by some persons.

Shelling is welcomed

She wasn’t sure if there were more or fewer Russian soldiers in Kherson City, but she had seen a growing number of Chechen fighters there.

“I cannot claim that there are fewer Russian soldiers; rather, they just removed their military garb and changed into civilian attire. Some people carry a machine gun while walking down the street in regular clothing.

She claimed that the sound of shelling was enjoyable.

“The stillness is frightening Kherson locals. It was calm for a few days in the summer, and everyone thought Ukraine had forgotten about us, I recall.

“You can hear the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelling the occupiers’ positions all the time. You simply cannot image how delighted the locals are as a result,” she remarked.

“Automatic firearms are occasionally heard in various parts of the city, but it is unknown who is engaged in a gunfight.”

Despite being some way from Kherson City, Ukrainian forces have made progress in other areas of the region. The Ukrainian push appears to be being repelled by Russian forces who appear to be entrenched and defending their positions with missile bombardment. While Ukrainian officials claim that as many as 45 Russian battalion tactical groups may currently be on the west bank of the Dnipro, local Russian-appointed officials stress that Moscow’s forces intend to defend the area.

But according to Ukrainian officials, occupation authorities have recently stopped operating in some areas of Kherson, like Beryslav. The Ukrainian military stated on Friday that “collaborators who cooperated with the Russian occupiers continue to flee the city with their family and property.”

The Antonivskyi bridge, which is close to Kherson city, has recently been struck by a Ukrainian boat. Four persons, according to local authorities, were slain.

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