To the naked eye in the city of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, there is almost no trace of the war. But it is impossible to ignore that the ruble is now circulating and that Russian flags are waving. Vladimir Putin’s troops occupied the region in mid-March, barely three weeks after the invasion began. The pro-Russians are in complete control.
Some inhabitants of Kherson are still not used to the sudden change, as is the case with Natacha Zarouchinaïa.
“I am in favor of Ukrainian power, I live in Ukraine, I am Ukrainian, I live in my land and I want Kherson to remain free. I want it to be like before. I want it to be like before, that we live well and in peace,” says Natacha, who feel resignation but not fear.
“No, I’m not afraid, what am I risking? If they kill me, they kill me.”
The pro-Russians accuse the Ukrainian Army of bombing the Kherson region from neighboring Mikoláiv. In addition to the cut of mobile phone services and the payment of pensions. For what they propose to annex Jersón.
“We are an entity in the Kherson region. And we will return to the Russian Federation as an integral region of the Russian Federation,” announced the deputy head of the provisional military-civilian administration in Kherson, Kiril Stremooussov.
Likewise, Stremooussov added that in the next few days a branch of a Russian bank will open in Kherson, without specifying which one. The reopening of banks and businesses is of extreme necessity for residents.
“Calm down, well, calm down. I would like the stores to work, all the banks to work,” says a woman when interviewed on the street.
“We would like to have peace and be a neutral state like Switzerland or Sweden. Switzerland is a small country that has lived for 200 years without making war,” adds another Kherson resident.
The pro-Russian administration has considered the possibility of calling a referendum for Kherson, like the one held in 2014 in the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia.