KHERSON, Ukraine — A triumphant President Volodymyr Zelensky visited this southern city recaptured just days ago by his country’s troops, saying in a speech in the central square that the victory marked the “beginning of the end of the war.” Standing in front of a raucous crowd of several hundred people Monday, Zelensky said that Western-supplied weapons played a crucial role in recent battlefield victories but that they were paid for in Ukrainian blood.
Zelensky made the visit as the city began assessing damage and evidence of what he said were “hundreds” of war crimes during eight months of Russian occupation. Basic services — ranging from water and power supplies to the city’s postal system — are slowly being restored for Kherson’s residents as efforts begin to return life to normality. Elsewhere, heavy fighting continued in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
4. From our correspondents
Fighting-age men in Russia are still hiding in fear of being sent to war: Even though Putin has proclaimed Russia’s recent military mobilization complete, many are scared they could be conscripted and deployed against their will to battle on the Ukrainian front. The Washington Post’s Mary Ilyushina interviewed six men who have spent weeks hiding in rented apartments, country houses and even a music studio — among thousands believed to be evading enlistment officers while remaining in Russia.
Among them is a young IT worker who lives in a tent in the forest to prevent military authorities from catching him, using solar panels and a satellite dish to work remotely. “I feared that I’d get drafted if I go to the store or that someone will come to my house,” he told The Post. He requested anonymity because he is hiding from the authorities. Survival in a forest is challenging, but better than the fate he believes would await him in Ukraine.
“They are suffering even before they get to the front line and can easily get, say, pneumonia, and no one will care, which put it into perspective for me,” he said. “I’m either mobilized and put into something akin to a prison, where you have no rights, just obligations, or I stay here, where I still have many problems and issues, but I am free.”
Pietsch reported from Seoul and Sands from London.