Freedom And Victory Come With A Bitter Taste As Russia Bombs Kherson
Freedom and victory come with a bitter taste as Russia bombs Kherson, which makes the winter a bitter reward for the victory in the fall. When the Russians were kicked out, there were a lot of happy people in Freedom Square waving blue and yellow Ukrainian flags like heads of wheat. Now, the sound of Russian artillery hitting the city can be heard in the plaza.
Over the past 48 hours, Russian forces on the other side of the Dnieper River had hit Kherson more than 130 times with rockets, artillery, mortars, and even tank fire. During the same time, four people died and another dozen or more were hurt.
Also, several warehouses were set on fire. One of them kept fireworks, which seems like an odd thing to keep while shelling goes on. But it was also a sign that, despite the bloody events, there might be something more to celebrate in the future.
At the start of Russia's invasion last March, the capital of the area was taken. A lot of its 290,000 people left at that time. Since it was freed in November, it looks like more people have left. Since then, the government of Ukraine has asked them to leave so they can get away from the Russian shelling.
Young moms, old people, and a few drunk people rush across Freedom Square as fast as they can to catch buses. When you are above ground and only a few hundred meters from the river, you are in grave danger.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/freedom-and-victory-come-with-a-bitter-taste-as-russia-bombs-kherson/ by Daisy-Mae Schmitt on 2023-02-06T02:12:56.263Z
A few days earlier, a Russian missile tore a piece of the city hall out like a piece of cake. Part of the local government building fell apart in the street.
Overhead, Ukrainian jets rumble through the low clouds, or at least that's what everyone says. All of the bridges to the side of the province that is still controlled by Russia have been blown up.
At night, spies from both sides try to find out where their enemies are and where their command centers are. A Ukrainian officer with the call sign "Sneaky" said that his men, which included some American and British volunteers, had "killed 16 Russians" on a patrol a few days before.
According to Sneaky:
We hit them with drones and our own weapons. They were all killed quickly, except one. He was wounded and was going to die when we caught him. We spoke to him and gave him some water and his last cigarette. Then … well, he died.
- A Ukrainian officer with the call sign Sneaky
[Latest]Bitter harvest of freedom and victory as Kherson suffers Russian bombardment
At least 1,300 km (810 miles) separates Ukraine from Russia. Small villages in the east of the country have been under attack by the Russians, so it has moved back and forth. Officials in Ukraine are now saying that there is talk that Russia is planning a big attack in the next few weeks.
It might not come to Kherson, where the river makes it hard to attack the ground from either side. So, for now, the Russians hit the city with hammer blows all day and night, which seem to come from nowhere.
Tatiana was waiting for a bus in an underpass below the main road on one side of Freedom Square. Because she couldn't afford to live anywhere else, she moved back to the city.
“I came back because where I was living I ran out of work. And I couldn’t pay my rent anymore. And I came back home because it’s my home. The Russians were bombarding the town, she said, “For revenge. Probably revenge, because they ran away.”
At the time she was talking, the revenge was so bad that firefighters and medics had to talk to CNN from a bunker in a secret place. They said that there was too much shelling to send any help. Their location is a secret so the Russians won't be able to go after them.
It's not totally pointless to hit Kherson in this way. Russia's cruel plan is that attacking civilians will bring down the morale of the Ukrainians. That Kyiv's and her allies' willingness to help Ukraine fight a long war will weaken if they see this kind of bad news every day.
The most likely place for a Russian offensive on the ground to happen is along the front that runs east to west to the city of Zaporizhzhia or in the Donbas. But Ukraine also needs to protect recently freed areas in Kherson or risk a Russian comeback, which takes up troops. Russia has a lot more troops than Ukraine does. It has put them in the "meat grinder" battle in the east for Bakhmut.