October 1, 2022

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“From snow to mosquitoes, we’ve been here for five months” – Corriere.it

From Lorenzo Cremonese

The only clashes between the two armies with drones and artillery

Who sent us
Pervomaisky (Kherson Front)
Little movement in the trenches of the southern sector. Despite President Volodymyr Zelensky’s loud declarations of a “quick counterattack” to regain control of Kherson and despite the unsuccessful Russian attempts to resume the advance towards Odessa, This is still a kind of kinetic roller. 27-year-old Lieutenant Luka of the 36th Mechanized Brigade testifies before us: “It was still winter in early March, with bare trees and frost in the bones and gray fields, when our units were sent here to stop Vladimir Putin’s armored vehicles. It’s midsummer now. It’s so hot, our nights are full of mosquitoes, the trees are green and the cornfields are gilded, ready for threshing, blazing like matches when the grenades go off. We are still here, almost stationary, between these villages more and more bombed and the same hills not so steep’,” he tells us after a crazy ride in his jeep on bumpy sheep tracks to avoid being targeted by snipers.

We came back here a little over a month after the last time to try and check the status of the campaign wanting to determine the Ukrainian recovery. And the We got into a position war consisting of duels between drones, night sorties with a few tanks and small patrols, aerial battles and above all remote bombing.. The advance of the Ukrainians reached a maximum of a few tens of kilometers: Kherson remained about twenty kilometers from their most advanced positions. At best, it can be said that initiatives on the southern front forced the Russians to divert men and chariots from the Donbass.. But the clash continues with casualties and damage: we can testify from the field. Luca and his men have promised us that we can visit Kyselinka, one of the fifty or so villages that have been liberated in the last month (mostly small gatherings of a few houses). “We retook it two weeks ago, trenches in the western suburbs and the Russians abroad and the center became no man’s land,” he explained. But when we got between the buildings of Pervomaisky, two kilometers from the first line, commands over the radio reported that the Russian Air Force had risen. We heard loud explosions not far away. Therefore, the Ukrainian fighters took off. “We must seek shelter immediately,” the lieutenant explained, walking between the destroyed houses. We went down to the basements with some civilians. Says Vitaly, a 43-year-old who previously worked in a factory and now grows carmine.

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In a moment of calm, we quickly move to the nearby town of Belusirka. Here an unusual scenario is presented. The village is mainly arranged on two parallel streets. At first, many houses seemed destroyed, if not completely destroyed by Russian bombs. But in the second, there is almost no harm. the reason? “The part of the village that sympathizes with the Russians is not affected”Tatiana Korol, 39, who stayed with her husband and two daughters, who is standing by the Ukrainians, replies. Luca and his people avoid going the other way, and are actually turning away from him. “Cooperators can report the presence of foreign journalists and we will risk being targeted,” they say.

Crouched in a trench at a checkpoint surrounded by scorched fields of wheat, we can finally assess the situation with some of the senior officers. The arrival of Western heavy weapons in particular US HIMARS missile launchersstruck with an accuracy of more than 80 kilometers, really makes a difference. We hit the three bridges over the Dnieper and now the Russians are having great difficulty sending ammunition to the Kherson artillery. We see it in our daily lives, and for the first time the Russians shoot much less, they save ammunition. But heymar are only 20 years old, and we asked for at least 50 of them: These help defend us, but they don’t provide enough cover for a full-scale attack» they say.

But Kyiv is in a hurry. Kherson is the only province west of the Dnieper River that the Russians managed to conquer in the first weeks of the war. Now Putin is imposing on you his project of “russification” of Ukraine in forced stages. previously Local banks accept only rubles instead of hryvnias; The Internet, the media and the telephone are now the preserve of Moscow; Large billboards hanging in the streets ensure that “Mother Russia” is back to stay. Russian agents arrest old local political leaders and persecute any opposition. A third of the original population of 300,000 remained in the city of Kherson. The highlight should be the referendum, which Putin would like to devise in mid-September to ratify full annexation. “A farce that a democratic state cannot accept,” replied the Ukrainians. Meanwhile, partisan guerrilla action escalates, along with targeted killings of collaborators. Yesterday, a drone killer Vladimir Saldo, the former mayor of Kherson who agreed to work with the new Russian administration, seriously injured his head. The deputy mayor was also attacked in a town near Nova Karkovka. These are the latest attacks in a long line. If it is true that the military offensive is struggling, then the war continues by all means.

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Aug 6, 2022 (change Aug 6, 2022 | 22:23)