Ukrainians flee grim life in Russian-occupied Kherson

Kherson, located north of the Crimean Peninsula that was annexed by Moscow in 2014, was the first city to fall after Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24.

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World News

August 18, 2022 - 3:18 PM

The Kuznetsova family arrived from Kherson, Russian occupied territory, to Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine, on April 25. 10-year-old Alexander Kuznetsova is embraced by his mother, Tanya, as they celebrate with relief. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — It was early one morning when life under Russian occupation became too much for Volodymyr Zhdanov: Rocket fire aimed at Ukrainian forces struck near his home in the city of Kherson, terrifying one of his two children.

His 8-year-old daughter “ran in panic to the basement. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and (she) was really scared,” said Zhdanov, who later fled the city on the Black Sea and has been living in Kyiv, the capital, for the past three weeks.

Kherson, located north of the Crimean Peninsula that was annexed by Moscow in 2014, was the first city to fall after Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24. The port remains at the heart of the conflict and Ukraine’s efforts to preserve its vital access to the sea. For Russia, Kherson is a key point along the land corridor from its border to the peninsula.

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