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  • Writer's pictureNataliya Gumenyuk

Ukrainians are joyful as the Russian occupiers flee, but we must be wary of an ambush

In some places the enemy has abandoned positions, guns and even roubles. Elsewhere, resistance is fiercer

Photograph: Ukrainian presidential press-ser/AFP/Getty Images


It’s a liberation – something Ukrainians have been awaiting for half a year now. According to President Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian army has taken more than 6,000 sq km from the Russian occupation – including a few towns in the Donbas, which took months for the Russian army to capture.


Any image appearing from a newly liberated town is watched with fascination. I was glued to a short video showing the Ukrainian army entering Balakliya – the first of the larger towns liberated in the Kharkiv region. The ladies in the town emerged from basements, hugging the military and suggesting they stay and eat. “Boys, we have some pancakes left,” they said. The soldiers begged off: “We can’t now, please, perhaps a bit later,” they replied, in the tone children usually reserve for their mothers. “We need to go on, and it’s dangerous here – you need to be evacuated.”


Read the full story in The Guardian here.


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