Home » Ukraine’s greatest victory becomes another countless victim of Russia’s war

Ukraine’s greatest victory becomes another countless victim of Russia’s war

Anton Tatochenko, 24, told The Telegraph that living in Kherson was now “like a permanent lottery game, where the max prize is life”.

“If you don’t accept the fact that tomorrow may not come, you just can’t get over it mentally.”

Mr Tatochenko said that the moment he saw Ukrainian military vehicles rolling through the streets left him in a state of “euphoria”.

“When the city was liberated, it was euphoria, I can’t put it any other way. It was a state of blind joy when you are just happy to see our military, you want to touch them, hug them, and say “thank you”. For me, this was the best day of my life.”

But he said this state of jubilation lasted just one week before the realities of the war sunk back in.

“Now, of course, everything feels different – people are simply tired.”

Although the city’s streets were packed full of crowds on Nov 11, today the city remains a ghost town.

‘My life has changed irreversibly’

Photographs show piles of rubble left behind and deserted streets. The centre of Kherson is too close to the ongoing fighting for locals to feel safe.

“The city centre feels like a desert,” Mr Tatochenko said. “Very rarely cars drive there, not many people visit and of course, there are missile attacks. I don’t think there is a single building left in the old centre of Kherson.”

Evhen Spichak, 36, believes the war will not leave the psyche of the people of Kherson because of the sheer devastation the occupation wrought.

He grieves daily over the loss of his brother, who had been his only remaining blood relative.

Mr Spichak did not discover that his brother had been killed by invading Russian troops until days after he had been buried in a mass grave.

“I believe that Kherson has truly become a victim of this war,” he said. “After this event, my life changed irreversibly. And if someone says that time heals – it’s just a cliche and an excuse. Do you think that I’ve let go, that I feel better? No, no, no.”