How a US Teacher Evaded Russian Troops in Kherson for 8 Months

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When he walked the streets, he feared meeting acquaintances, particularly among older people, who seemed less keenly aware of the danger of the Russians and who would sometimes yell out friendly greetings — putting him at grave risk. No friends or neighbors betrayed him.

From hiding, he managed to resume teaching English online, using the internet connection of a neighbor to connect with students elsewhere in Ukraine and other countries. “It kept me sane,” he said of being able to work online, though he had no means to receive payment.

He became worried when he saw a Russian, perhaps a civilian administrator in the occupation government, move his family into an apartment abandoned by fleeing Ukrainians in a building across the street, raising the risk that he would be discovered.

But over time, he also noted something that was becoming obvious to other residents of Kherson: The Russian Army was unraveling. Discipline was breaking down, soldiers were appearing more disheveled, and more often they were driving stolen local cars rather than military-issued vehicles.

“Over time, they got scruffier and more hodgepodge” he said.

In the final month, he noticed that soldiers who had stolen expensive cars, like BMWs or Mercedes-Benzes, had taken these vehicles by barge away from Kherson, farther from the front line. The disappearance of the expensive looted cars, he said, “gave me hope.”

In the week before liberation, he was cut off from news after the electricity went out. On Friday, he saw a car drive by with a Ukrainian flag flapping from an antenna. “I knew the Russians were gone,” he said.

Mr. Morales joined the celebration in the city’s central square on Friday, greeting the Ukrainian soldiers as they entered the city without a fight, driving pickups and jeeps. However happy he is for the city’s liberation, he said, he plans to leave now.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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