Fleeing shelling, civilians on Saturday streamed out of the southern Ukrainian city whose recapture they had celebrated just weeks earlier.
The exodus from Kherson came as Ukraine solemnly remembered a Stalin-era famine and sought to ensure that Russia’s war in Ukraine doesn’t deprive others worldwide of its vital food exports.
A line of trucks, vans and cars, some towing trailers or ferrying out pets and other belongings, stretched a kilometer or more on the outskirts of the city of Kherson.
“It is sad that we are leaving our home,” said Yevhen Yankov, as a van he was in inched forward. “Now we are free, but we have to leave, because there is shelling, and there are dead among the population.”
Poking her head out from the back, Svitlana Romanivna added: “We went through real hell. Our neighborhood was burning, it was a nightmare. Everything was in flames.”
Emilie Fourrey, emergency project coordinator for aid group Doctors Without Borders in Ukraine, said an evacuation of 400 patients of Kherson’s psychiatric hospital, which is situated near both an electrical plant and the frontline, had begun on Thursday and was set to continue in the coming days.
Ukraine in recent days has faced a blistering onslaught of Russian artillery fire and drone attacks, with the shelling especially intense in Kherson. Often the barrage has largely targeted infrastructure, though civilian casualties have been reported. Repair crews across the country were scrambling to restore heat, electricity and water services that were blasted into disrepair.
Russia has ratcheted up its attacks on critical infrastructure after suffering battlefield setbacks. A prominent Russian nationalist said Saturday the Russian military doesn’t have enough doctors, in what was a rare public admission of problems within the military.
In the capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy oversaw a busy day of diplomacy, welcoming several European Union leaders for meetings and hosting an “International Summit on Food Security” to discuss food security and agricultural exports from the country. A deal brokered by the U.N. and Turkey has allowed for safe exports of Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea amid wartime disruptions that have affected traffic.
“The total amount we have raised for ‘Grain from Ukraine’ is already about $150 million. The work continues,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly TV address. “We are preparing up to 60 ships. All of us together do not just send Ukrainian agricultural products to those countries that suffer the most from the food crisis. We reaffirm that hunger should never again be used as a weapon.”
The prime ministers of Belgium, Poland and Lithuania and the president of Hungary were on hand, many others participated by video. Zelenskyy said more than 20 countries supported the summit.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Ukraine — despite its own financial straits — has allocated 900 million hryvna ($24 million) to purchase corn for countries including Yemen, Sudan, Kenya and Nigeria.
Our food security summit was supported by more than 20 countries. The total amount we have raised for ‘Grain from Ukraine’ is already about 150 million US dollars. The work continues. We are preparing up to 60 ships. All of us together do not just send Ukrainian agricultural products to those countries that suffer the most from the food crisis. We reaffirm that hunger should never again be used as a weapon.
Air raid warnings sounded throughout Ukraine Tuesday as Russian forces continued its barrage of strikes across the country.
The reminder about food supplies was timely: Ukrainians were marking the 90th anniversary of the start of the “Holodomor,” or Great Famine, which killed more than 3 million people over two years as the Soviet government under dictator Josef Stalin confiscated food and grain supplies and deported many Ukrainians.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz marked the commemoration by drawing parallels with the impact of the war on Ukraine on world markets. Exports from Ukraine have resumed under a U.N.-brokered deal but have still been far short of pre-war levels, driving up global prices.
“Today, we stand united in stating that hunger must never again be used as a weapon,” Scholz said in a video message. “That is why we cannot tolerate what we are witnessing: The worst global food crisis in years with abhorrent consequences for millions of people – from Afghanistan to Madagascar, from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa.”
He said Germany, with the U.N.’s World Food Program, will provide an additional 15 million euros for further grain shipments from Ukraine.
Scholz spokes as a cross-party group of lawmakers in Germany are seeking to pass a parliamentary resolution next week that would recognize the 1930s famine as “genocide.”
Last year Ukraine and Russia provided around 30% of the world’s exported wheat and barley, 20% of its corn, and over 50% of its sunflower oil, the U.N. has said.
In a post on the Telegram social network on Saturday, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said more than 3,000 specialists for a local utility continued to work “around the clock” and had succeeded in restoring heat to more than more than 90% of residential buildings. While about one-quarter of Kyiv residents remained without electricity, he said water serviced had been returned to all in the city.
The scramble to restore power came as Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo met Saturday with Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
“This might be a difficult winter,” he said, alluding to Belgium’s contributions of generators, and support for schools and hospitals in Ukraine, as well as military aid such as “fuel, machine guns, propelled artillery and so on.”
“And by standing here, we hope that we provide you hope and resilience in fighting through this difficult period.”
Mednick reported from Kherson, Ukraine.
Source: NBC New York
What issues will help candidates get elected in 2024?
Dh400 fine from today: UAE job loss insurance deadline ends; last-minute rush results in long queues
Trump Trials: What’s coming this week, what happened last week
Trump campaigns in Iowa ahead of New York fraud trial – latest
Man crashes car into police station then celebrates to "Welcome to the Jungle" playing on radio
Bybit to Stop UK Services as Fin Regulators Clamp Down – Are You Affected?
Tesla’s Five Big Challenges To Overcome
Six-Wheeled Ford Ranger Hybrid Upgrade Increases Max Payload To 8,377 Pounds
See Alleged Thief Lose Pants Surrendering to Police After Car Chase
X/Twitter Is Shutting Down Circles Next Month
Everything Taylor Swift Fans Need to Know About Her Rumored Boyfriend Travis Kelce
Cancelled Vs Celebrated. Will We See A Geographical Shift In ESG Leaders?
5 things to know about reported Celtics signing Wenyen Gabriel
‘The Godfather’ Is Not the Only Time Marlon Brando Wanted to Play James Caan’s Dad
John Lennon Called This Paul McCartney Song ‘a Good Piece of Work’
Lifestyle20 hours ago
Is Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman's 'May December' Movie Worth Seeing?
Lifestyle20 hours ago
Nadine Lustre in Mikhail Red’s Philippines Folklore Horror ‘Nokturno,’ Teaser Unveiled (EXCLUSIVE)
News20 hours ago
Threat of government shutdown ends as Congress passes temporary funding plan, sends to Biden
Lifestyle21 hours ago
How a Nonverbal Autistic Teen Turned His Communication Triumphs Into a Collaborative Symphony, ‘Unforgettable Sunrise’
News20 hours ago
Canelo vs Charlo LIVE: Fight updates and results tonight
News21 hours ago
Ukraine May Accidentally Help Russian Agents Spy on Them
Sport22 hours ago
NASCAR star Nick Sanchez bloodied in fight after close racing leads to wreck at Talladega
Finance20 hours ago
Mainland China Bourses Close For National Day Holidays Until Oct. 9 Amid Tough Year