Home Europe Ukraine war: Civilians flee Kherson as Russian attacks intensify

Ukraine war: Civilians flee Kherson as Russian attacks intensify

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Thirteen-year-old Nika Selivanova made a heart shape with both her hands, waving goodbye to her best friend Inna who was pressed up against the glass partition that divided the entrance hall of Kherson’s train station from the waiting area.

Moments earlier, they’d hugged, tears welling up in their eyes. Inna had kissed Asia, a tan dachshund dog wrapped up in a warm blanket, carried by Nika in her arms.

The girls didn’t know when they might see each other again.

Nika’s family was leaving Kherson, not sure of where they would end up eventually. For now, they were heading to the western city of Khmelnytskyi, hoping they would get some help there.

The past few days in Kherson had simply been too much for Nika’s mother Elena.

“Before, they [Russian forces] shelled us seven to 10 times a day, now it’s 70-80 times, all day long. It’s too scary.” Elena said. “I love Ukraine and my dear city. But we have to go.”

Elena and her three daughters are among more than 400 people who have left Kherson since Christmas Day, after a sharp increase in the intensity of the bombardment of the city by the Russian military.

On Tuesday, a hospital maternity ward was shelled. No-one was hurt but it has further escalated fear among people.

Elena left by train, in an evacuation facilitated by the Ukrainian government.

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