A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Sep 6, 2022

Ukraine Town Blew Dam To Stop Russians. 6 Mos Later, They'd Rather Pump Than Be Occupied

Though they worry about the onset of winter, the villagers would do it again to save their country. JL 

Elissa Nadworny reports in NPR:

A community in Ukraine blew up a dam and flooded their village to stop the Russian army's advance into the capital Kyiv. Six months later, they're still pumping water out of their houses. It's estimated up to 100 houses were flooded here. You can see the line several feet high on people's yard fences. This village has a history of protecting the people in front of it - in the 13th century and during World War II, to stop the Germans. "The water, you can pump out," he says. "It's better than fighting the Russians."

A community in Ukraine blew up a dam and flooded their village to stop the Russian army's advance into the capital Kyiv. Six months later, they're still pumping water out of their houses.

 

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

When Russia invaded Ukraine early this year, the Ukrainians blew up a dam just north of their capital, Kyiv, to keep Russian forces from making it to the city. It worked, but blowing up that dam meant flooding a small village. And nearly seven months later, the people who live there are still pumping out the water. NPR's Elissa Nadworny went to that village and sent this report.

ELISSA NADWORNY, BYLINE: I'm standing on the edge of what looks like a huge lake, except I've never seen a lake where you can see the top of trees and bushes nearly halfway submerged.

ANDRIY SCHERBAKOV: (Through interpreter) Everything that you can see, there was no water here.

NADWORNY: There isn't usually water here, explains Andriy Scherbakov, the assistant to the mayor in Demydiv. This lake used to be vegetable patches, a place where cows grazed. Now, he says, there are beavers and otters, birds that live near lakes, a whole new ecosystem. Beyond the lake, down a dirt and sand embankment, Volodymyr Artemchuk is standing in about a foot of water, shoveling the garbage and debris.

VOLODYMYR ARTEMCHUK: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: He's making a path for the water that's still flooding his house to flow towards the pumps. It's estimated up to 100 houses were flooded here. You can see the line several feet high on people's yard fences.Have you heard the phrase that this place helped save Kyiv?

ARTEMCHUK: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: "We are the authors," he says. He tells us this village, this water, has a history...

ARTEMCHUK: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: ...Of protecting the people in front of it - in the 13th century and during World War II, to stop the Germans. We leave Artemchuk and walk along the top of the dirt dam. From there, you can see all the houses beyond have huge ponds in what used to be their backyards. Everything is water back here, says Halyna Kostiuchenko. She's out salvaging what she can in her backyard garden.

HALYNA KOSTIUCHENKO: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: She points out the beets and carrots.

KOSTIUCHENKO: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: And then points out the water. Reeds and tall grass grow where her cabbage and berry bushes usually are.

KOSTIUCHENKO: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: "Everything back here has died," she said. And now she's got to dig up the beets and potatoes quickly so they don't rot with the soggy soil. Across the dam from Kostiuchenko's backyard, we come across a group of people fishing.

VASYL RYBAKOV: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: "I've got carp and perch," says Vasyl Rybakov. His last name translates as fisherman, though he doesn't usually fish and certainly not here.

RYBAKOV: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: "It would have been better if there was just dry land here instead of water," he says. Even with the fish.

RYBAKOV: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: "You can buy them at the market," he says. Watching us from his backyard in his swim trunks is Serhii Starunskyi. He says the biggest issue is the water underneath the ground.

SERHII STARUNSKYI: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: He's been calling on local officials to do more, he says. He and other residents staged a protest in the middle of summer to draw attention to their plight. A month later, the Ukrainian government promised to give out cash payments to the residents whose homes flooded.

STARUNSKYI: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: But Starunskyi says just pumping out the water isn't enough.

STARUNSKYI: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: He's worried about when winter comes and whether the soaked cement foundations of his house and his neighbors' will crack. An hour later, Volodymyr Artemchuk is still shoveling.

ARTEMCHUK: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: "The water, you can pump out," he says. "It's better than fighting the Russians."

ARTEMCHUK: (Non-English language spoken).

NADWORNY: "We're still fighting the water," he says. "But we'll get through it."

Elissa Nadworny, NPR News, Demydiv, Ukraine.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

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alex blake said...

this is totally wrong the war is not a good thing it will harm peoples and the nature too i don't like these things and cant promote these wars blogs because being a student i only promote things which are helpful for me like educational blogs and all of that i found on coursework help service mostly.

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