Its streets have been virtually abandoned Tuesday, 5 days after Ukrainian forces swept by way of. Their vehicles and a heavy police presence have been the one indicators of the dramatic occasions of the previous few days, and a robust reminder of who’s now in cost.
Civilians have been few and much between. A couple of, huddled anxiously exterior the police station, waited to have their telephones checked for any signal of collaboration with the occupier.
Different civilians hurried out and in of their houses, heads down and eyes downcast, to a meals truck manned by Ukrainian army personnel, the place bottles of water and plastic baggage filled with meals have been handed out.
Few have been keen to talk to the media and CNN’s cameras have been turned away from the police station by Kharkiv police every time somebody handcuffed and blindfolded was taken away in a police automobile.
Solely a pair of aged ladies taking a stroll in a close-by park agreed to speak — at first reluctantly after which with all of the bottled-up emotion of those that’ve been silent too lengthy.
“We did not have any selection,” stated Maria, who declined to offer her final identify for safety causes, bursting into tears. “They only got here and occupied us.”
Her long-time pal, 73-year-old Larisa Kharkivska, agreed to paved the way to the house she shares along with her 35-year-old disabled daughter, Svetlana. In response to Kharkivska, they’re the one folks left in her constructing. All those that might afford the $400 it price to depart by way of Russia did, she stated.
She informed of her guilt at having taken the meals given out by the Russians as she confirmed two cardboard packing containers holding a number of baggage of sugar and a few rice.
“We could not purchase something within the retailers,” Kharkivska stated. “And we could not get cash as a result of the banks have been closed, so we needed to stand there like beggars.”
Their condo grew to become a jail they dared not depart.
“They (the Russians) walked round with computerized weapons; we have been terrified to go exterior,” Kharkivska stated.
Virtually each evening from 8 p.m. to six a.m. that they had no electrical energy and no water, she added.
“We survived, thank God, we survived! However it was very horrifying. We simply hope they by no means come again.”
Shevchenkove, which lies about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of the town of Kharkiv, was occupied from February 25 — only a day after Russia launched its invasion — and was left largely unscathed regardless of shelling because the Russians swept by way of the city.
“Remnants of occupiers are being detained, collaborators detained and full safety is being restored,” Zelensky stated. He added how vital it was to return to “strange life” after an space was free of occupation.
In Shevchenkove, there may be little signal of that but, as authorities attempt to work out the place collaboration ends, and survival begins.