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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Ukrainian Civilians Flee Recaptured Kherson as Russian Attacks Intensify

33 rockets were fired by Russian forces towards civilian locations

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UKRAINE: A new wave of deadly Russian attacks is forcing civilians to evacuate Kherson, a recently recaptured Ukrainian city.

“Before, they [the Russian forces] shelled us seven to 10 times a day; now it’s 70 to 80 times all day long. It’s too scary. I love Ukraine and my dear city. But we have to go,” said Elena, a resident of Kherson.

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Following a sharp rise in the Russian military’s bombing of Kherson, more than 400 people—including Elena and her three daughters—have fled the city since Christmas Day.

A hospital’s maternity ward was shelled on Tuesday. Nobody was hurt, but the situation has made people’s fears even more intense.

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33 rockets were fired by Russian forces towards civilian locations in the 24 hours prior to early Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said, as fighting grew more intense as Russia sent more tanks and armoured vehicles to the front lines.

The Dnipro River has turned into a de facto frontline in the south of Ukraine since the Russians are firing from the left (east) side, where they withdrew.

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Oleh Zhdanov, a military here has been relatively little change in terms of the front line, but pressure from the enemy has increased, both in terms of the number of personnel and the type and quantity of equipment.

Continuous Shelling on Kherson

There is hardly ever a break from the continual sound of mortar shell bombardment in the city. In his sleep, 56-year-old Serhii Breshun was killed. A shell struck his house, causing it to collapse on him.

The day after he passed away, his mother, Tamara, who is 82 years old, came to look among the rubble for his passport. In order to get his body out of the mortuary, she needed the papers.

“I must have had a sense that something would go wrong that day. Because I spoke to him [over the phone] and urged him to leave the house. He didn’t, and that was it. Our lives have been ruined,” she sobbed.

Last month, when Russian forces withdrew from Kherson, marking one of Ukraine’s most important victories in the 11-month conflict, it sparked scenes of joy in the city.

However, with the arrival of the harsh winter weather and subsequent escalation in shelling, the combat has reached a slow, grinding phase

Russian airstrikes on the centre of the city on Christmas Eve apparently resulted in at least seven fatalities and 58 injuries. 

These strikes are said to have damaged nurseries, schools, hospitals, stores, factories, homes, and apartment buildings.

The Ukrainian Red Cross posted on Twitter that “it is dangerous to stay in the city because Kherson is shelled several times a day.” At this point, Kyiv and relief organisations are evacuating the last civilians from the city.

On Christmas morning, pictures appeared to show rows of vehicles departing Kherson at a checkpoint.

Although the regional administration has encouraged people to leave Kherson at least twice this week, tens of thousands of citizens still reside there. The city is plagued by ruthless and random attacks.

As the gateway to Crimea, Kherson is a strategically significant region. Russia has reportedly been forced into a defensive posture in this situation, according to many commentators.

It is hard to understand what it wants to gain from hammering Kherson. We have observed the employment of incendiary weapons in addition to mortar shells, which are blazing sparks that are designed to ignite targets and rain down on the city.

Furthermore, it’s not apparent if the Ukrainian military is making any efforts to retake territory on the river’s left side.

The region around the bombed-out ghost town of Bakhmut, which Russia has been trying to storm for months at great human cost, and farther north in the cities of Svatove and Kreminna, where Ukraine is trying to breach Russian defensive lines, have seen the most intense combat.

Reporters witnessed fires raging in a huge residential building in Bakhmut, which was formerly home to 70,000 people but is now in ashes. The majority of buildings had their windows blown out, and debris covered the streets.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin began an invasion of Ukraine on the pretext of conducting a “special military operation” to “denazify” his neighbour, whom he said posed a threat to Russia.

In the spring, on the outskirts of Kyiv, the capital, Russian forces attempted to quickly conquer Ukraine, but they were defeated, and in the autumn, they were forced to withdraw from other places.

Also Read: Border Tensions Escalate as North Korea Sends Drones into South Korean Airspace

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