Kherson resistance fighter recalls killing Russian soldier
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A Ukrainian teenager living in Kherson has detailed how he killed two “wasted” Russian soldiers during a night patrol prior to the city’s liberation. CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kiley met with Archie, a young man from Kherson, who demonstrated how he had stabbed two Russian soldiers in the side of the neck, “leaving them to bleed on the grass in the pitch dark”. The teenager was part of a vigilante group of locals “gathering intelligence” for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they advanced southwards towards them.
Mr Kiley reported that Archie, a young Kherson local caught up in the invasion of the port city, “killed twice while he was still a teenager”.
The journalist acted out the role of the Russian soldier as Archie demonstrated how he had stabbed the man in the neck from behind. Mr Kiley reported how he “got a chill” from thinking about the ferocity of the attack.
Mr Kiley reported: “[Archie] said he left his victim to bleed on the grass in the pitch dark. Archie then struck again moments later. Another drunk Russian soldier, another throat cut. He acted alone but now he was one of Kherson’s resistance fighters.”
Archie said: “They were wasted. It had only been a few days since they entered the city. I finished the first one and then immediately caught up with the other one, and killed him on the spot. I threw away the knife and the jacket, which was covered in blood, and just left.”
Mr Kiley reported how Archie was “only 19” when Russian forces invaded Kherson in March, just days after they descended on Ukraine.
The young man said he had driven around the port city with his friend “gathering intelligence” that they would later relay to Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
Archie said: “At least 10 Russians were slaughtered every night. I was not the only one in Kherson. There were a lot of athletic and partisan guys.”
Kherson residents survived under Russian occupation for roughly eight months as Putin’s soldiers arrived from Crimea.
Locals related how they had spent months hiding out in their basements, terrified of being targeted by Putin’s forces for even daring to speak their mother tongue in public.
Reports suggest Russian soldiers paraded the city drunk, raped and beat innocent Ukrainian citizens and lay down mines prior to retreating in the hope it would kill advancing soldiers.
Following the soldiers’ removal from the city, thousands of Kherson locals rejoiced, draping Ukrainian flags across plinths in the central square and ignoring calls to stay inside by the liberating forces over fears of a Russian trap, so intent were they on greeting their rescuers.
The focal point of the war has now shifted further south to the Dnipro river and beyond, into an interstice of land between Kherson and Crimea.
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In a key battlefield development this week, Kyiv’s forces attacked Russian positions on the Kinburn Spit, a gateway to the Black Sea basin, as well as parts of the southern Kherson region still under Russian control.
Recapturing the area could help Ukrainian forces push into Russian-held territory in the Kherson region “under significantly less Russian artillery fire” than if they directly crossed the Dnipro River, said the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank.
Control of the area would help Kyiv alleviate Russian strikes on Ukraine’s southern seaports and allow it to increase its naval activity in the Black Sea, the think tank added.
Retaking Crimea, including the port of Sevastopol, which is Russia’s only warm water port, would be tantamount to a total Ukrainian victory.
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