Ukraine’s Kherson region prepares for Russian counteroffensives

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Fighting continues to rage in southern Ukraine. Here, Russian forces hold the port city of Kherson and they claim to control the whole administrative region, of which Kherson is the capital. But in fact they don’t: Ukrainian counterattacks in March brought a small part of that region back under Kyiv’s control. FRANCE 24 reports from the Ukrainian-held part of the Kherson region.

Ukrainian soldiers returned to the scene of a battle they won to find eviedence of looting. "We're now standing at a former Russian checkpoint, which was destroyed on the 28th of March," said the Ukrainian army's Oksana Kozyrenko.

"Look, there's even a toilet. There are women's clothes here, a bag, a chair," Kozyrenko pointed out, as shelling was audible in the distance.

The Ukrainian army pushed Russian forces out of this area in March, but they haven't given up trying to come back.

FRANCE 24 met some local men chopping down trees, getting wood for Ukrainian dugouts. Soldiers are reinforcing their defences amid fears Russian attacks could intensify. "The Russians need some kind of victory before the 9th of May, because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is a fan of those symbolic dates," said Yuriy, a local resident. "But we aren't going to give him that satisfaction."

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Click on the video player above to watch FRANCE 24's report.

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