On the ground

In Ukraine’s martyred Mykolaiv, residents hail Russian retreat, fear revenge attacks

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A bombed building in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine. © France 24

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The withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine’s Kherson has prompted cautious relief in nearby Mykolaiv, a port city located some 60 kilometres away. Since the start of Russia’s invasion, residents of Mykolaiv have been subjected to almost daily bombings. The regional governor Vitaly Kim announced on Friday evening that it was now “fully liberated”. Our special correspondents Taline Oundjian, Luke Shrago and Wassim Daly report.


“It’s a relief, so it will be better, but we are afraid, still.” Residents of Mykolaiv, a strategic port city in southern Ukraine, heaved a cautious sigh of relief on Friday after Kyiv announced the , the only regional capital Russia had seized since the start of the war. 

After eight months of incessant bombing, Mykola, a local resident, hopes that with this Russian setback, “there will be a lot fewer heavy strikes”. However, he cautioned, “there’s a risk that the Russian aggressor will start to take revenge for the agressive behaviour of our armed forces.”

The regional governor Vitaly Kim has announced that Mykolaiv, whose population has shrunk to around 200,000, is now “fully liberated”. The local authorities remain cautious, however, as the city is still within range of Russian rocket attacks.

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