The atmosphere is extremely tense around the annexed regions of Zaporizhia and Kherson, where pro-Russian authorities have been asking civilians to evacuate to the left bank of the Dnipro since last week.

From Anissa El Jabri, RFI Special Envoy to Kherson

Every day, the tone becomes harsher and the clouds accumulate. The latest risk of escalation is accusations from Moscow that Ukraine is preparing a dirty bomb. Just before, each party accused the other of wanting to blow up the Kherson dam, on the Dnipro, a destruction that, in particular, would mean stopping the cooling lake of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, and drowning to Kherson and the surrounding towns under water.

With a checkpoint every 15 kilometers on average, sometimes with mobile gates, the network to ensure that no civilian enters the Kherson region during the evacuation period is particularly tight. In the capital of the region, at the entrance to the Antonovsky bridge, on which fire is regularly fired, an anti-missile battery is highly visible. Civilian boats on the river have not been too affected by the bombing. Nor are the buildings and houses of Jershon.

Not for much longer? At least that is what this native of the city fears, sitting on the wooden bench of a boat ready to begin its 50-minute transfer between two river ports. “Kherson is not an easy city for someone in a defensive position, but it cannot be returned for prestige reasons. So they will fight for it, and probably very hard. Also, it is strategically very important to control this Dnieper delta.” , Explain.

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