Published on :
Since the withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson, the Dnieper has been both a natural barrier and a front line. It houses major infrastructure, such as a power station and a dam five kilometers from Novaya Kakhovka, which both sides have accused each other of wanting to undermine to flood the villages. In this small town, as in all the settlements on the south side of the river, the administration installed by Russia organized the evacuation of the inhabitants. RFI had the exclusive authorization to go there.
From our special correspondent in Novaya Kakhovka,
Gusts of winter wind softened by the slight humidity of the riverside and the artillery that resounds a few tens of meters away. The bridge that spans the Dnieper – since the withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson has become both a natural barrier and a front line since the withdrawal of Russian forces – is partially destroyed, unusable.
” Until June, the city lived almost peacefully says Vladimir Vladimirovich Leontiev. The head of the civil-military administration of the Novaya Kakhovka district since April, takes stock of the last months: ” The city then began to be subjected to missile attacks, including 74 precision strikes, mainly on the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. From that moment, the departures of citizens began. Between June and September, 80% of the city was affected by the impacts. In November, the administration launched the evacuations “. Since that month, he adds, the tactics and weapons used have changed. The city, he says, is bombarded daily by artillery and mortars “.
As the fighting intensified, the curfew was extended from 10 p.m. to 7 p.m., but in winter night falls well before, around 5 p.m. midday. The last open cafe closes at 4 p.m., and by that time all the shops in the market have already drawn the curtain.
” We will continue to pay in hryvnia »
” Look, on this side of the street, it’s very destroyed, this street was recently bombed, it is better not to go there, it is very dangerous “, explains a member of the regional administration installed by Russia. Its officials have mostly moved inland, but a few members of the press office have traveled to accompany the visit. The Russian regional administration moved inland, but its press service moved to accompany the visit. Safety obliges, they say. From 72,000 people, Novaya Kakhovka went in a few months to 12,000 – figures of the administration installed by Russia. Those who left assure the authorities went to Crimea or the Krasnodar region, some to Europe. Among the inhabitants crossed, some are far from being docile: ” We will continue to pay in hryvnia. We do what we want “, explains this lady.
December 31 will mark the end of the circulation of Ukrainian currency, however warned the local administration. The hryvina will continue to be exchangeable in banks. It does not matter for this nurse who has already exchanged everything for rubles for a long time and has other concerns in mind. ” I have two patients who are bedridden, she explains. One has her son in Africa, the other has been abandoned by her relatives. I’ve been offered evacuation, but I can’t leave them alone here with no one to take care of them. My daily life is just cleaning, work, home, work. »
With these evacuations and these villages almost emptied of their inhabitants, is Russia preparing its departure from the area as the Ukrainian army has said? Asked, Vladimir Vladimirovich Leontiev assures: “ It’s a lie. The goal is to sow panic. »
Life is organized in the territories annexed by Russia on the south bank of the Dnieper