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Ukrainians in Kherson, surrounding villages face ‘harsh conditions’: Red Cross

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KHERSON, KHERSON OBLAST, UKRAINE: Local civilians queue for food distribution following the withdrawal of Russian troops in Kherson City, Ukraine, November 16th, 2022. (Narciso Contreras - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 17, 2022 - 03:17 AM

GENEVA (AA) – The International Red Cross said Wednesday that it sent a team of medical personnel and water engineers to the Ukrainian city of Kherson, which was liberated recently from Russian control, and found that its population is facing harsh conditions.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had also sent specialists on risks associated with explosive ordnance and mines.

The team delivered aid to Kherson on Tuesday and assessed the humanitarian situation there and in surrounding areas.

“There are immense needs in Kherson, but we also saw incredible resilience from the people, volunteers and health professionals who have persevered through great difficulty and are facing very harsh conditions,” Stephan Sakalian, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Ukraine, said during the visit.

The Ukrainian military entered Kherson last Friday after Russia’s withdrawal from the region, a retreat President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and leaders of several Western countries hailed as a significant victory.

500 wounded patients

The Red Cross delivered enough medical supplies to two hospitals to treat 500 wounded patients and 2,000 patients needing primary healthcare for three months.

It also brought 600 food parcels and hygiene kits to a psychiatric hospital.

The teams assisted local water service providers by donating a water truck, 600 food parcels, and hygiene kits, along with its Ukrainian Red Cross partner currently helping the most vulnerable population.

“The population of Kherson faces many other urgent challenges: restoring connectivity so people can communicate with their loved ones,” said the ICRC.

The people have to repair damaged power plants which have cut off heat and electricity for residents and on which access to water and sewage treatment depends.

Residents also need access to clean drinking water as the cold winter closes in.

According to the head of Ukraine’s national energy company, Russian forces destroyed critical energy infrastructure before retreating from the Kherson region last week.

Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the chief executive officer of Ukrenergo, said Russian troops “practically destroyed” an energy facility that supplies power to “the entire right bank of the Kherson region and a large part of the Mykolaiv region.”

“It no longer exists. Two autotransformers, weighing 250 tons, were blown up,” he said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Kudrytskyi said Ukrenergo is “doing everything possible” to restore power to Kherson, adding the region has been without electricity since Nov. 6.

He said Ukraine has handed over a list of the necessary equipment to foreign partners, and Poland and France have responded to the requests.

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