Russian Forces Leave Booby Traps Behind After Retreating From Kherson
- Russia occupied Kherson, Ukraine for eight months before withdrawing in November.
- But Russian troops left behind traps that Ukrainian demining teams are trying to remove.
- According to AP, a “Mines Ahead” street sign directed people away form a safe road to a minefield.
Last month, Russian forces fled Kherson, Ukraine, in a major blow for President Vladimir Putin’s war efforts. However, there are still signs of the eight-month occupation.
Kherson, a region capital, was the first Ukrainian major city that Russian forces seized after the invasion of February. The southern port city was occupied from March until November, when Russian officials announced a retreatUkrainian forces have returned.
The retreat revealed stories of people who have been there many times. potential war crimesUkrainian resistanceRussian forces have continued to operate shellingThe Kherson region. Some residents were also assisted by Ukrainian officials evacuate the liberated cityIt is already winter ahead of schedule because its power infrastructure has not fully recovered from the battering.
But residents on the ground are dealing with another consequence of the Russian occupation — booby traps.
According to The Associated Press, the traps included a street sign that read “Mines Ahead” and directed people away from a main road and onto a side road — but it was the side road that contained a minefield. The location was fatally attacked by several Ukrainian police officers and servicemen.
“To give you an indication, during the month our work, we discovered and removed several tons mines,” a Ukrainian military service member on a Demining Squad told AP. He also said that the mines were spread over nearly 4 miles.
While demining squads continue to work to remove traps left behind by Russians (e.g. explosives left in pitholes or buried under soil), the freezing winter is making this more difficult.
Other than land mines, traps were also set: At one the two police stations located in the city, according to Ukrainian authorities Russia used as torture chambersAccording to AP, crews tasked by disarming weapons were unable to get in because of the number of booby traps. A hand grenade was attached to a laundry machine at a civilian home so that it would explode when the detergent tray was opened.
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