Ukraine arrests head of Russian jails in Kherson for ‘treason’

Families separated by the Dnieper

Since the liberation of the city, the Dnieper now separates the Kherson region into two: the western bank controlled by Ukraine, the eastern bank under Russian occupation. Agence France Presse met families whose members are more than ever separated by the river.

“Every morning, I get up and check the news to see if the place where she lives is OK,” says Olena Chernyavska, 41, whose mother still lives under Russian domination, in a village a few kilometers away. Contact between the two women has been sporadic and dependent on the fickle phone signal since Russian forces destroyed the region’s power supply.

“My brother, my sister, my niece, and my granddaughter” are on the other side, explains a resident of Kherson, Natalia Olkhovykova, 51 years old. “We are very worried because we have learned that their whole village is full” of Russian soldiers, she continues, before recovering: “I should not say more, for their safety”.

“They are waiting to be released,” said Tatiana Maliutyna, 54, of her relatives living on the eastern shore. “They were happy and they called us when they heard the good news on November 11,” announcing the withdrawal of the Russian army, she says. “I told them: ‘Be patient’”.

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