The mayor of the city of Kherson in Ukraine has said that the Russian army has set up checkpoints into the city but he added they have not surrendered to the invaders, despite intense fighting that according to footage included airstrikes.
The mayor, Igor Kolykhaev, said on social media that in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday, 1st March) that the city was still under Ukrainian control, but he added that it was hard to say how the situation would develop from here on.
Footage shared by the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine allegedly shows missiles hitting the city, with flashes of light illuminating the night sky as deafening explosions can be heard in the distance.
But the mayor remained hopeful and also said: “The first day off spring. Kherson is still Ukraine, and this is the first good news this morning. Little has changed since last night: the city was not shelled-and this is the second good piece of news.”
Kolykhaev said that the tasks for the day will be to make sure that shops, pharmacies, public transport and rubbish collection remain operational.
He added that on Monday, 28th February, bank accounts were set up so that the city could be provided with financial support, adding that people from all over the world had began sending money, adding to their payments messages such as “Kherson is in our hearts”, “Hold on, dear ones”, and “Russian ship, go nah…”
The mayor also urged locals to avoid going outside during the curfew.
He said: “At the entrances to Kherson, the Russian army installed checkpoints. It’s hard to say how the situation will develop further. But now I’m in my office coordinating the work of city services so that in the morning you wake up in a relatively peaceful city. None of us have slept for many days in a row, we’re all tired, just like you. But this is not a reason to do reckless acts.”
He added: “And today I am responsible for the vitality of OUR city and ensure your protection in the way our opportunities allow.
“Kherson was and remains Ukrainian!
“The worst thing you can do now is start tearing the city apart from the inside.
“I ask each of you to keep calm and prudent. Do not go outside during curfew. Do not engage in aggressive negotiations with anyone and do not provoke your opponent into conflict.
“The greatest value there is in this city is your lives.
“This is not a fight, this is a war. And the war is won by reasonable actions and cold blood.
Kherson is resisting!
“But give it a chance to do so.”