Sunday, July 21, 2024

Flood saves Ukrainian village from Russian occupation


DEMEDEV, Ukraine (Reuters) – Deliberate flooding of a small village north of Kyiv created a swamp and flooded cellars and fields, but prevented a Russian attack on the capital, residents said.

Ukrainian forces opened a dam early in the war in Demidyev, causing the Irbin River to flood the village and thousands of acres around it. The move has since been credited with preventing Russian soldiers and tanks from penetrating the Ukrainian lines.

“Of course, it was good,” said Volodymyr Artemchuk, 60, a resident of Dmedev.

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“What would have happened if they (the Russian forces) …. managed to cross the small river and then went to Kyiv?”

Oleksandr Rypalko, 39, said more than a third of some fields were flooded.

About two months later, people in the village were still dealing with the aftermath of the floods, using inflatable boats to get around and planting any dry patches of land that were left with flowers and vegetables.

The children were left with the wetlands to use as playgrounds.

The Russian invasion, now in its third month, has killed thousands of civilians, driven millions of Ukrainians to flee, and reduced cities to rubble.

Moscow describes its actions as a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say fascist allegations are baseless and the war is an unjustified act of aggression.

Over the weekend, Russia bombed positions in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, trying to encircle Ukrainian forces in the Battle of Donbass. Read more

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(This story has been rewritten to add the names of the residents, and there are no further changes to the text.)

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Writing in Melbourne by Lydia Kelly; Editing by Jonathan Otis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.