Situation in Cherson: No electricity, no water, no heating


Status: 11/25/2022 02:51 am

Poverty in the recaptured Cherson is great. Many are considering heeding the government’s call to leave the city now. Because there is no running water, no electricity and no heating.

By Rebecca Barth, WDR, currently Kyiv

The cheering crowds have turned into long lines. In the recently recaptured city of Cherson, many people are dependent on humanitarian aid. No electricity, no running water, no heating. Cherson and its inhabitants are dependent on outside help. In the city center, helpers distribute bread, vegetables and meat.

“There was no meat during the occupation. Everything was very expensive,” says a passer-by. “Thank God it was warm for a long time and there were a lot of vegetables. We lived on vegetables. But everything was very expensive and I didn’t have a job.”

After the recapture by Ukrainian troops, meat is available again in Cherson, but there are hardly any buyers.

Image: dpa

Prices continue to explode

The prices are still skyrocketing, people say. Hardly a stall is open at a market near the train station. Helpers laid out thick jackets. It is mainly older women who rummage through the mountain of clothes for suitable clothes.

Larissa works a few steps further. She’s trying to sell some meat and bread. But there are hardly any buyers, she says ARD. “People have money problems. They simply have nothing to buy anything with. No pensions. The banks don’t work,” she reports. “A lot of people only had money on their cards but couldn’t withdraw it. It’s very difficult for pensioners. They need a lot of help.”

Government calls for people to leave the city

But not only pensioners stand in the long queues. Families with children also try to get hold of bread, vegetables or warm clothing. Before retreating, Russian troops destroyed critical infrastructure in Kherson. Apparently so difficult that the Ukrainian government is now asking people to leave the city. Because it will be difficult for people to get through the winter without heating and electricity, according to Deputy Prime Minister Irina Wereschtschuk.

Larissa is also worried. “Of course people are afraid of winter. They sit there without heating. It’s very difficult. You don’t know what’s going to happen next,” she says. “It’s difficult when there’s no electricity. But we’re still lucky with the weather. It’s already snowing in Lviv and Kyiv. But we have it easier here in the south.”

Not everyone wants to go

According to estimates, around 80,000 people are still living in Cherson. For about a week they have been able to leave the city by bus. The people in the neighboring region of Mykolaiv are also called upon to do so. But not everyone wants to go.

Many people started stocking up on food and water during the occupation. So does Volodymyr, who lives in a village near the city. “For eight months we survived something so terrible that we are not afraid of winter,” he says. “We will survive without gas. We will live. Ukraine will be free.”

But even the reconquered Cherson is not yet free. The Russian troops have taken up positions on the other bank of the Dnipro. Detonations can be heard again and again. Russian forces shelled Cherson with artillery on Thursday afternoon. Several people were killed in the process.

conflicting parties as a source

Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body in the current situation.

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