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Russia-Ukraine war: Kherson mayor warns of ‘critical’ water shortages after Russian forces destroyed key infrastructure – live

Kherson’s humanitarian situation is’severe’ due to water and medicine shortages. – Mayor

President Volodymyr Zilenskiy stated that Russian forces destroyed important infrastructure in Ukraine’s south city of Kherson and then retreated.

Before they fled from Kherson, the occupiers had destroyed all of the crucial infrastructure: communications and water as well as heat and electricity.

Kherson’s mayor stated that the humanitarian situation was “severe” due to a shortage of water, medicine, and bread. Residents celebrated their liberation in what Zelenskiy called “a historic day”.

Reuters reported also that Roman Holovnia the mayor of Moscow, said so to television:

Water is in critical supply in the city. There are currently insufficient medicine and bread, as it is not possible to bake them. Electricity is also lacking.

Zelenskiy stated that authorities had dealt with almost 2,000 mines and tripwires in their efforts stabilize the region.

Ukrainian forces enter Kherson city on Saturday after the Russian retreat. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

 

 

Events of note

 

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Mykola Lukashuk (head of Dnipro region’s council) stated that Nikopol was heavily shelled overnight, according to AP.

Telegram’s Sunday update stated that two women had been injured but are now in stable condition at a hospital. Two farm buildings and a private house were destroyed. More than 40 residential buildings and more commercial buildings were also damaged. A college, a register and electricity networks were also affected.

Lukashuk claims that the Marhanets city also was under attack. Two private homes were damaged but there were no injuries. Nikopol and Marhanets are located across the Dnieper River, Europe’s biggest nuclear power station.

Pravdyne villagers speak of relief

Ukrainians living in Pravdyne near Kherson have told AFP about their relief following the Russian retreat.

After more than eight months under Russian occupation, Svitlana Galak said that she was overcome with happiness when Ukrainian soldiers arrived to free her.

The 43-year old told AFP that she didn’t know the date when the Russians arrived but that she did know one thing: “I saw a Ukrainian soldier yesterday or the day before yesterday and I was relieved.” She said that she was overcome with joy at the news that Ukraine had been liberated.

Galak is one among the 180 residents of Pravdyne. This small village is located about 50 km (about 30 mi) northwest of Kherson and had approximately 1,000 inhabitants before the war.

Many homes and buildings have seen their roofs blown off. The fields are littered with anti-mine and explosive debris, a result of bombing campaigns.

Galak was bittersweet when Kyiv retook large swathes from the south region that serve as a gateway into the Black Sea. Her eldest daughter had been killed during a bombing raid on her village.

“I will be honest with you, I wasn’t happy that Russians were there, and my child was killed.” It is difficult for me,” she stated.

Viktor Galak, 44, is seen with his wife Svitlana (43), and their 10-year old daughter Anna. They were taken to Pravdyne in Kherson region on November 12, 2022 during the Russian invasion. Photograph by AFP/Getty Images

Viktor, her husband, spoke out about the mistreatment he suffered under certain soldiers. He was stopped once when he tried to visit his mother in Pravdyne. The 44-year old told AFP that the Russians had stopped him and made him kneel.

As he was questioning him about whether he was actually a village resident, another soldier tied his legs and arms. He said, “Then one came and said that he was going put a bomb under me so I wouldn’t run away.”

The father then informed them that his daughter had been killed. He also asked them why they wanted to place a grenade underneath him. Are you trying to kill us all? What’s your goal? He retorted, “Are you fascists?” Viktor was able to be identified by another soldier before being interrogated and was then released.

He said that he was happy to see Ukrainian soldiers because he is Ukrainian and that the occupation was difficult due to the shortage of food.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that the West “militarising” Southeast Asia to protect Chinese and Russian interests, Reuters reported.

Lavrov criticised the United States during a press conference after the ASEAN summit concluded in Phnom Penh. Both Russia and the West view the region as a potential strategic geopolitical battlefield in the future.

Lavrov stated that the United States and its NATO allies were trying to control this space. He stated that the Indo-Pacific strategy of US President Joe Biden was an attempt to bypass “inclusive mechanisms” for regional cooperation. It would also involve “the militarisation in this region with an obvious emphasis on China and Russian interests within the Asia-Pacific.”

Biden stated that Washington was committed building an “Indo Pacific free and open, stable, prosperous, resilient, and secure” summit.

His office stated that the South Korean president, Yoon-yeol, pledged on Sunday to increase humanitarian assistance for Ukraine while he denounced Russia’s invasion.

Yoon spoke at the ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Reuters reported.

Yoon Suk-yeol (centre) at the summit. Photograph: Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images

Russia claims that military training will be returned to schools in the next year

According to the most recent update from the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Sergey Kravstov (Russia’s education minister) has said that military training will be returned to Russian schools in September.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence supports the program, which stipulates that this training should not be less than 140 hours per year.

This program, which was discontinued in 1993, was a continuation of a Soviet-era military training programme that required students to complete mandatory military training. The training covered first aid, chemical and nuclear attacks, and the handling and firing of Kalashnikov rifles.

After Russia’s invasion in Crimea, 2014, Russian officials tried to revive this training. The initiative was intended to improve the quality and quantity of conscripts. Eight years later, very little has changed. The quality of Russian conscripts is still poor. They are low in morale and receive limited training.

The training is likely to help students acquire military skills and increase participation in mobilisation drives. According to the UK’s MoD, the initiative is likely to be part “a larger project to instil an idea of patriotism in the Russian people”

The central bank of Ukraine said Sunday that it had prepared the banking system for emergency situations in case of blackouts.

Reuters quotes the Telegram messaging app as saying the following:

It is expected to protect the viability and stability of 14 banks that are systemically important. The National Bank will, if necessary, ensure vital activities of state-owned bank branches.

Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukraine’s energy sector, causing significant blackouts in large parts of the country.

As the Russians fled, the road to Kherson was filled with people holding flowers who waited to kiss and greet the Ukrainian soldiers.

“We’ve been 20 years younger in two days,” stated Valentyna Bulgailova, just as a Ukrainian soldier jumped from a small truck to hug her and her companion Nataliya Pothunuk in a hamlet close to the centre of Kherson.

Reuters reported, however, that artillery fire was heard surrounding the international airport. Police said they were setting up checkpoints around the city to sweep for any mines.

Ukrainians welcome Kyiv’s troops as its military enters Kherson. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Kherson’s humanitarian situation is’severe’ due to water and medicine shortages. – Mayor

President Volodymyr Zilenskiy stated that Russian forces destroyed important infrastructure in Ukraine’s south city of Kherson and then retreated.

Before they fled from Kherson, the occupiers had destroyed all of the crucial infrastructure: communications and water as well as heat and electricity.

Kherson’s mayor stated that the humanitarian situation was “severe” due to a shortage of water, medicine, and bread. Residents celebrated their liberation in what Zelenskiy called “a historic day”.

Reuters reported also that Roman Holovnia the mayor of Moscow, said so to television:

Water is in critical supply in the city. There are currently insufficient medicine and bread, as it is not possible to bake them. Electricity is also lacking.

Zelenskiy stated that authorities had dealt with almost 2,000 mines, tripwires, and unexploded shells left behind by the Russians in their efforts for stabilization of the region.

Ukrainian forces enter Kherson city on Saturday after the Russian retreat. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Summary

The Guardian’s ongoing live coverage of Ukraine’s war is back! Here’s Adam Fulton, and a quick overview of the latest developments as it nears 9am in Kyiv.

  • Volodymyr Zilenskiy reports that Kyiv’s forces have taken control of more than 60 settlements within the Kherson region and “stabilisation steps” have been implemented in Kherson after it was retaken. The president of Ukraine stated that Russian forces had destroyed all Kherson’s vital infrastructure, including water and heat supplies.
  • Ukrainians celebrated Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson, as Kyiv stated that it was working to remove the city’s strategic south after its eight-month occupation and restore power throughout the region. Agence France-Presse reported that the formerly occupied village Pravdyne was embracing its neighbours. Some were unable to contain their tears. One person exclaimed, “Victory! Finally!”
  • According to the head of Kherson’s regional government administration, all was being done to “return normal living” to this area. Yaroslav Yanushevych posted a video from Kherson, which was shared on social media. He stated that although de-mining had been completed, a curfew had been in place and there had been no movement within the city.
  • Pro Moscow forces are fighting a tougher fight elsewhere, and the battles against Ukrainian forces in eastern Donetsk are hellish, Zelenskiy stated. It is hell, there are fierce battles every day. He said that our units were defending bravely, withstanding the immense pressure from the invaders and preserving our defense lines.”
  • According to the readout of an Asean summit in Cambodia, Dmytro Kuleba and Antony Blinken (US secretary of State), Ukraine would decide the content and timing of any negotiation frameworks with Russia.
  • Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, spoke to Ebrahim Raisi by telephone. Both leaders put emphasis on strengthening political, trade, and economic cooperation . The Kremlin issued a statement Saturday. According to the Kremlin, they discussed “a variety of topics on the bilateral agenda”, including transport and logistics. It didn’t say when the call was made and did not mention Iranian arms supplies to Moscow.
  • The major Nova Kakhovka dam is now in serious danger in the southern Ukraine. This can be seen after Russia’s withdrawal.
  • Russia stated that there is no agreement to allow Ukraine to export grain via Black Sea. This echoes its insistence on having unhindered access worldwide markets for its food and fertiliser exports.

 

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