Growing Anger as Russian Fire Continues in Flood hit Cherson Region

news 11-Jun-2023 Europe

Anger Grows in Flood-hit Cherson Region as Russian Fire Continues

People are trying to evacuate affected individuals and secure their homes in the flood-hit areas of the Cherson region. Anger towards Russian occupiers is growing, as they continue to fire in the region.

Sandbags to Protect Homes

"We’re collecting sand to save our homes," says Swetlana. She holds a shovel at the side of a road in the village of Tschornobajiwka near Cherson as the scorching sun beats down and the flood creeps closer. Even though the water has already reached its peak, according to official reports, it slowly continues to find new paths.

Environmental Catastrophe

Swetlana's face is etched with anger as sweat dribbles down her forehead when she fills the sandbags. "This is an environmental catastrophe. People don't realize that it will all be washed into the Black Sea. Chemicals, waste. People on the other side [of the river] grew vegetables. They fertilized the fields with chemicals—which are all now being dumped into the Black Sea.”

In Swetlana's opinion, only a madman is responsible for this catastrophe, without directly mentioning Vladimir Putin’s name.

Concern for Relatives

Swetlana lived under Russian occupation for months. While soldiers have now withdrawn from Ukraine, they still terrorize the people. The cause of the damage to the Kachowka Dam is clear for Swetlana- Russian troops.

Her relatives still live on the other side of the river, under Russian occupation. Swetlana is deeply concerned about their wellbeing: "Russian soldiers don't let people out. Not all of them fled; they still occupy some points," she explains. No one knows how many people have died. It all happened at night during the curfew, and people weren't allowed to leave their farms.

Efforts to Rescue People and Animals

Several kilometers away, to the south of Cherson, helpers are still trying to rescue people and animals from the flooded homes. A man stands on a hill and looks down at his house. "Fifty percent are already flooded," he says. He has moved clothing, electronics, and animals out. "Not everything is lost yet. We're trying to save something. We've shut off the electricity and are waiting."

During the Russian occupation, he fled his hometown, returned only after the troops withdrew, but left again shortly thereafter—the Russian army bombarded Cherson heavily from the other side. Now, he's back, wanting to save his things, he explains.

Being Shot at During Evacuations

However, he doesn't have time to give his name. A Russian artillery shell explodes just a few meters away. People run for cover. "They see the evacuations and shoot us," the man says before he, too, runs away.

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