Bitter harvest of freedom and victory as Kherson suffers Russian bombardment

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Gone are the acres of jubilant crowds that filled Freedom Square with blue and yellow Ukrainian flags that swayed like heads of wheat when the Russians were driven out. Now the crack-crunch of Russian artillery eating into the city echoes around the plaza.

The harvest of victory in the fall has been a bitter winter.

In the previous 48 hours, Kherson had endured more than 130 strikes by rockets, artillery, mortars and even direct tank fire across the Dnieper River from Russian forces. Four people were killed in the same period, another dozen or more wounded.

Several warehouses were also set ablaze. One of them stored fireworks – bizarre goods to store amid shelling. But also a symbol of hope, in the face of bloody experience, that there may be something more to celebrate, sometime.

The regional capital was captured last March in the early stages of Russia’s invasion. Many of its 290,000 citizens left then. More appear to have fled since it was liberated in November. Ukraine’s administration implored them to leave since then to escape the Russian shelling.




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