Weeks into the successful defence of Kyiv, there is little doubt that the intentional flooding of a small village north of the capital early into the war was a gamechanger that stopped the Russians in their tracks.
Early in the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian forces opened a dam in Demydiv, causing the Irpin River to flood the village and thousands of acres around it, creating a quagmire that halted the Russian advance towards Kyiv. The move has since been credited with stopping Russian soldiers and tanks from breaking through Ukraine’s lines.
“Of course, it is good that we got flooded,” villager Volodymyr Artemchuk said. “You can imagine what it would be like if they crossed the river here and advanced towards Kyiv.”
Another resident, a man by the name Oleksandr Rybalko, said that more than a third of some fields had been flooded.
Used to move around, inflatable boats were still in good use some two months after the flooding. The vessels were also used to facilitate reaching the remaining dry swaths of land so that they could be planted with flowers and vegetables. The wetlands were left to the children to play there.
Now in its third month, the Russian invasion has claimed thousands of civilian lives, sent millions of Ukrainians fleeing and reduced cities to rubble. While Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists, Ukraine and the West found the fascist allegation baseless and the war an unprovoked act of aggression.
Over the weekend, Russia pummelled positions in the east of Ukraine, seeking to encircle Ukrainian forces in the Battle of Donbas. However, in the Kharkiv region, the situation on the frontline looks very much different as Ukrainian troops defending the city of Kharkiv have reached the state border with Russia, the regional governor said on Monday.
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