It has been a month since the massive win for Ukraine. Kherson was finally liberated after a carefully calculated, strong counteroffensive. It was a huge moment for its residents hoping to reunite with their families after months-long separation. There were videos showing parents and grandparents hugging Ukrainian soldiers and thanking them for their sacrifice and hard work. We also saw Ukrainian soldiers celebrating by putting up Ukrainian flags on various regional residential and commercial infrastructures.

But one month in, as much as the residents would like to celebrate their independence, this extended war (going past winter) makes them relive the fear and despair they had felt while under Russia’s pseudo governance.

Kherson, One of Russia’s Target Cities Since Day 1

Kherson is a port city located south of Ukraine, on the west bank of the Dnipro River. It has long been considered a critical strategic location for both Russia and Ukraine. The city has been under Russian control since March 2. Kherson has a major port on the Black Sea, providing access to Crimea ports and oil fields in the Black Sea region. It also serves as a gateway to other major cities in Eastern Europe, including Odessa.

Kherson is an important strategic asset for Russia due to its proximity to oil fields, shipping channels, and military bases in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimea means it now controls many natural resources and transport routes within the Black Sea region. This gives them an advantage over its rivals in terms of trade, commerce, and military capabilities. Furthermore, Kherson’s location as an important agricultural center makes it even more valuable for Russia’s regional interests.

As for Ukraine, they need Kherson’s independence for several reasons. First, Kherson contains some key infrastructure, such as ports and railroads, that are essential for Ukrainian trade with Europe and other countries outside Russia’s sphere of influence. Additionally, regaining control over this area would provide access to crucial energy sources such as oil and gas reserves which could help Ukraine gain some economic stability after years of conflict with Russia. In addition to this, retaking Kherson would also enable Ukrainian forces to secure their border with Russia preventing further incursions from the east by pro-Russian forces or Russian troops themselves.

Kherson’s Residents Remember Their Trauma

After claiming Kherson, Russian shelling killed about 41 people in the region, including one child, while 96 others were hospitalized. Yaroslav Yanushevich, Kherson’s regional governor, said two others died during one of the Russian night attacks.