Russian forces entered Kherson city on March 1, 2022. Heavy street fights began in the city that day. Local Territorial Defense units tried to hold back the movement of heavy armored vehicles columns. 14 members of TD unit armored with AK riffle guns and Molotov cocktails were murdered in local Lilac park. “They were literally killed by Russians as it had been shooting gallery. They (Russians) were sitting inside the BTR with night vision and shooting our guys” — says Kostiantyn, former police worker, who joined Territorial Defense unit in the beginning of Russian full scale invasion of Ukraine. Later after occupation of the city Kostiantyn was 3 times captured and tortured by Russians as they wanted to gain information about other members of Territorial Defense, police and armed forces of Kherson city. 

People in Cherson did not give up easily. When Russians entered the city, locals came in their hundreds to Svoboda Square to demonstrate against the Russian occupiers. 

Kherson was under occupation for almost 9 months. On November 11, 2022 Ukrainian forces entered the city and officially announced about liberation. Since Russian forces retreated from Kherson to the left bank of Dnipro river, the city is under the constant shelling of heavy artillery, mortars and rockets.

On assignment for De Standaard.