In Kherson Oblast, undersupplied Russian soldiers are asking the local residents to hire them to harvest strawberries, according to Operational Command South of Ukraine, who posted this information onto their Facebook page on June 2.
“Servicemen of the “world’s legendary second largest army” are now somewhat like migrant workers, who are ready to put down their arms and pick strawberries – in groups,” Operational Command South wrote. “They’re offering their services at a rate of UAH 50 (1.6 euros) per hour, and don’t want to be paid in rubles”.
Locals admit that Russian soldiers’ strawberry picking skills aren’t too bad – they behave themselves and just do their work.
“They’re learning the difference between picking strawberries and occupation,” reads the Facebook post, using a Ukrainian play on words between the similarities for the word for strawberry and the word for cheese bread – palyanitsya, which was used as an impromptu identity check near the start of the war, due to Russian difficulties in pronouncing it.
Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast is a major strawberry, watermelon and cherry growing region, with a climate zone similar to the Mediterranean.
Currently, the Russia army controls most of Kherson Oblast, but the Ukrainian military has successfully counterattacked there in several directions.
On June 1, regional governor Gennadiy Laguta mentioned that Ukraine’s Armed Forces have already liberated as many as 20 towns and villages in Kherson Oblast. The counter-offensive continues.