Southern Ukrainian city of Kherson facing shortages of food and medicines

16 May, 04:22 PM
After the invasion, Kherson residents attended pro-Ukrainian rallies, which the occupiers violently disperse ed (Photo:social media video/Reuters)

After the invasion, Kherson residents attended pro-Ukrainian rallies, which the occupiers violently disperse ed (Photo:social media video/Reuters)

 Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast, most of which is currently under occupation by Russia, is facing a severe humanitarian crisis, Ukrainian human rights commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova said on May 16.

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“The residents of the Kherson Oblast don’t have an opportunity to evacuate to the territories controlled by Ukrainian government and have practically no opportunities to travel around the region,” Denisova said.

“The invaders wouldn’t let volunteers with humanitarian help into the region, and some humanitarian cargo is simply looted.”

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Denisova added that Kherson will run out of medicines completely in two weeks, while supplies of some of them have already been used up. In particular, there is a shortage of substances for drips, drugs for cardiovascular deceases, and oxygen. Local demand for all basic medicines, including headache pills, digestion pills and sleeping pills is high. All towns and villages of Kherson Oblast need more supplies of healthcare goods.

The human rights ombudsman said that approximately 500,000 Ukrainians remain in Kherson Oblast. At the beginning of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, around 1 million Ukrainians lived there.

“During the first day of invasion into the southern region, the invaders looted a great amount of local grocery chains and pharmacies,” Denisova said.

“Ukrainian goods were taken away to Crimea and Russia. Russian do distribute some humanitarian goods, but that’s food and medicines that were produced about five years ago, they are long expired. At the same time, Russians demand that locals present their IDs, and they’re drawing up lists of retirees, social workers and all other people who reside in a certain community.”

The Russian army invaded Kherson Oblast during the first weeks of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Residents of the city of Kherson as well as residents of other local towns protested against the Russia occupiers, calling on them to leave Ukrainian sovereign territory. The Russian army, in its turn, violently dispersed the protests of the local civilian population, using tear gas and guns.

On May 7, Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said on NV Radio that the Ukrainian army will do its best to liberate Kherson Oblast, killing as many Russian soldiers as necessary to do so.

Russia abandoned own plan to create a sham “Kherson People’s Republic” which initially was a part of its political strategy. Instead, Russia now wants to annex the territory, having told local collaborators to appeal to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for “protection.”

Prior to beginning of Russia’s war, Kherson Oblast lagged behind most of Ukrainian regions in terms of economic development. However, it had several major agriculture companies with assets on its territory, as well as a port.

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