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While Russian forces control almost the entire Kherson region in southern Ukraine, thousands of civilians are trying to flee the area by any means possible. Despite the risks, they try to reach a territory held by the Ukrainians. Report by Gulliver Cragg, correspondent for France 24, in Zelenodolsk, a Ukrainian stronghold in the north of the region.

Besides the Donbass to the east, much of southern Ukraine is currently under Russian control. This is the case, in particular, of almost the entire Kherson region, where Russian forces prevent civilians from leaving. Thousands of them are still trying to embark on a high-risk journey to escape. With the bare necessities, by bike or on foot.

“When people tried to flee by car, the Russians stopped them at checkpoints, took them out of the vehicles and told them to turn around,” said Dmytro Nevesely, mayor of Zelenodolsk, in the region of Dnipropetrovsk, a Ukrainian stronghold. “They also shot at the cars, or they confiscated them.”

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