Russia destroys much of Kherson but not faith in better things to come–residents
KHERSON, Ukraine — Russian forces who destroyed much of the Ukrainian city of Kherson have not killed off the faith that better things will come, some residents said as they gathered at a demolished television tower.
Russia pulled all its troops out of a pocket on the west bank of the Dnipro River in Ukraine last week, which included Kherson city, the only regional capital it had captured since the February invasion.
On Monday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Kherson, the biggest prize Ukrainian troops have recaptured so far, vowing to press on until Kyiv reclaims control of all its occupied territory.
Media in the southern city reported that Russian troops while retreating had blown up part of a television broadcasting centre and damaged heating and power infrastructure.
“It is painful to watch how the city was being destroyed in front of our eyes,” said resident Tetiana, who declined to give her last name.
“It looks as if a dinosaur is on the ground,” she said of the collapsed television tower that had been a city landmark.
“I feel sorry for it. But the faith anyway remains.”
Zelenskiy said Ukraine had gathered evidence of at least 400 war crimes committed by Russian troops during their occupation of the area, including killings and abductions, in addition to widespread destruction of the infrastructure.
The collapsed tower is on the ground behind the office of the national television and radio broadcaster whose walls are charred and windows blown out. Nearby shelling could be heard on Monday.
“My heart is bleeding,” said another Kherson resident, Oleksandr Holovedra, also inspecting the remains of the television town. “I have no words left to say. It is very hard to watch.”
“It has been here for so many years. It took so many years to place it here. People say it was raised with the help of helicopters and now it is destroyed,” he said.