Russian forces took control of Kherson, a major Black Sea port city in southern Ukraine, in the early hours of Wednesday, after days of heavy shelling and bombardment. The Ukrainian flag was still hoisted on government buildings, and the mayor of the city, Ihor Kulekhaevremained in office.
Kulikhaev announced, on Saturday, that the Russian forces are scattered everywhere, and that the city, which has a population of nearly 300,000 people, is without electricity and water, and is in dire need of humanitarian aid.
Kulekhayev said Russian forces had “settled” in the city and showed no signs of leaving.
“We have a lot of people in need here. We have cancer patients. Children who need medicine. This medicine is not reaching them at the moment,” he told CNN, adding that the Russians want to send help, but the residents are reluctant. .
People living in Kherson under Russian occupation Describe days of terror confined to their apartments and homes, afraid to go out even for basic necessities – their city is now a miserable shell of the home they know and love.
Five Kherson residents told CNN in recent phone calls that checkpoints operated by Russian forces dot the city’s streets. The roads are almost empty because residents have either fled the fighting or are staying in their homes for fear of confronting Russian soldiers. Residents and officials said grocery stores were emptied and medicine was running out.
Russian forces surrounded the city And they shoot anyone who tries to leave, according to residents, including a senior local health official whom CNN did not name for security reasons.
The official told CNN that, on Thursday, Russian forces shot two men at a checkpoint after they tried to pass, killing one of them and seriously wounding the other.
Andriy Abba, who works as a tax attorney, says he is determined to stay in Kherson regardless of the occupation, as long as the Ukrainian flag remains on government buildings.
“Even if we wanted to evacuate the women and children from here, it is simply impossible,” he added. “They shoot anyone who tries to leave.”
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