The whole region has been cut off from Ukraine. The rare images are clandestine. To find out what is happening in Kherson, you have to talk to people who have escaped from it. They tell stories of repression and hunting down Ukrainian nationalists
nazis. We spoke to two of them. Both are native Russian speakers, but are Ukrainian.
Demonstrations against the Russian presence
In his monologues, comedian Slava Boo pokes fun at Putin and Russian soldiers in a way that is difficult to translate, and he obviously caught the attention of the Russian military. So he chose to leave, but it’s not easy.
You have to find a means of transport when transport is scarce, cross identity checkpoints (we look for
nazis), possibly bribing the guard soldier, bypassing the combat zones around Mikolaiv, a city constantly bombarded by the Russians, describes Slava.
” At first there were daily demonstrations, but the army was replaced by the militia and the repression turned violent. The militia uses gas and firearms. But every day there was a small demonstration somewhere in a park. »
I started speaking Ukrainian
Anastasia left, as the Russian authorities began to question her insistently about her political opinions. She managed to flee to Odessa by taking advantage of a pharmacist’s car very early in the morning. The latter had the right to get supplies in Ukraine regularly and, in the wake of his travels, he decided to transport people.
I felt a lot of oppression. At the beginning of the war, I even changed, I started to speak Ukrainian because before I spoke Russian, but after they arrived at my house, I was very afraidshe says in excellent French.
I started speaking Russian again because it’s really dangerous, you never know what’s going on in their head.
After the interrogations, the disappearances
It’s true there are many activists, politicians, journalists who disappeared in Kherson and we don’t know [ce qui leur est arrivé]. Either they are deported or they are questioned in some prisons or even killedsays Anastasia.
Kherson is the valuable bridgehead of the Russians towards the Black Sea coast, in the south, to launch their offensive for the capture of Odessa. But for that they must seize Mikolaiv where the Ukrainians are fiercely resisting.
When I saw the resistance in Mikolaiv and here in Odessa, I feel very safe in Odessa [en] comparing with Khersonsays Anastasia.
Odessa is the jewel and the economic lung that Ukraine absolutely cannot lose.