QuestionsremainafteramajorUkrainiancityfellsoquicklyQuestionsremainafteramajorUkrainiancityfellsoquicklyGiphy GIFGiphy GIF

Questions remain after a major Ukrainian city fell so quickly

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Oleh Shornik was one of about 20 lightly armed Ukrainian volunteers who didn't stand a chance ...
Kherson Volunteers in the Ukraine-Russia War
...against the approximately 100 Russian troops who marched into Kherson's Lilac Park on the morning of March 1.
The brief, fierce battle injured civilians who were walking to work.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Anatolii Hudzenko, who was inside his home close to the park during the attack and was there to witness it firsthand, said that they had no time to react.
Numerous locals claim they felt abandoned by the Ukrainian military and its hasty withdrawal, leaving the city without an adequate defense, ... thousands of Russian troops swept up from the Crimean Peninsula on February 24 to quickly capture the city on the Dnieper River.
The fateful stand in Lilac Park, however, was it the result of a betrayal by high-ranking Ukrainian security officials ...
...working with Moscow, or was it a futile early act of resistance to what became a bloody Russian occupation of Kherson?
Svetlana Shornik, who was visiting her ex-husband's grave for the first time because the Russians had barred entry ... the cemetery while they had been occupying the city, said there are more questions than answers to this tale.
She claimed that they were essentially defending the city with just their hands. A volunteer militia, under the direction of the Defense ...
...Ministry, it was made up of civilians, part-time reservists, and former soldiers to fight alongside the regular military.
Samus said that when a (Russian) sabotage group entered a city, they were expecting to see civilians, but instead they discovered many people carrying Kalashnikov rifles, which was disastrous for the Russians.
A port city with a prewar population of 280,000 and a shipbuilding industry, Kherson is just north of Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014. Civilian volunteers were unable to repel Russian forces from Kherson.
The Kherson region is flat and marshy, and there aren't many forests or other natural barriers to stop the tanks and troops coming from Crimea, which is close by and is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet and air bases.
In addition, although he emphasized he was not a military man, Kherson Mayor Ihor Kolykhaev stated in May to the newspaper Ukrainska Pravda ...
...that the failure to destroy crucial bridges leading to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions was a mistake that helped the Russians.
According to Bohdan Senyk, the army's chief spokesman, that withdrawal guaranteed troop survival and prevented the enemy from gaining an advantage in the air with regards to firepower.
Orysia Lutsevych, director of the Ukraine forum at the London-based Chatham House think tank, claimed that Russia had ...
...agents smuggled into the Ukrainian security forces and that Kyiv had been slow and ineffective in clearing things up.
High human loss resulted from that betrayal.
He referred to them as "anti-heroes" and claimed they were unsure of their Fatherland's location.
The traitors will all be punished, he continued, but I don't have time right now to deal with them all.
Fighters from the Territorial Defense were taken to heaven on March 1, 2022, it says.