Russia-Ukraine War Latest News: EU Vows Military Support for Moldova, U.K. Bans Services Exports to Russia – The Wall Street Journal

KHARKIV, Ukraine—Residents of a village newly liberated by Ukrainian forces told of deprivation and looting during two months of Russian occupation.

Ruska Lozova, a village of 5,000 on the main highway from Kharkiv to the Russian city of Belgorod, was occupied by Russian forces immediately after the war began on Feb. 24. For two months, the village, cut off from Kharkiv and the rest of Ukraine, was subjected to harsh military rule, residents said. Cellphone coverage and electricity were halted and food supplies stopped. More than half of Ruska Lozova’s residents escaped the village, but many who remained went missing.

“There was nothing to eat for two months, everyone was just scavenging for whatever they could find,” said Serhiy Shumov, 39 years old. Mr. Shumov, who worked before the war at a sausage factory that he said has been looted by the Russians, said he weighed 212 pounds before the war. By the time he fled Ruska Lozova to Kharkiv on Friday, he was 165 pounds.

Nina Lavrova, 63, said her son went missing on April 15, when he and a group of villagers tried to raid a chicken farm. “I don’t know where he is and he doesn’t know where I am,” said Ms. Lavrova, who arrived in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, on Monday.

While the Russians checked residents’ homes and phones, they didn’t steal from inhabited houses. Those abandoned by residents were another matter.

“They were taking everything they could from these empty homes: electronics, TV sets, even half-empty perfume bottles. They were saying: We are going home on rotation soon, and we need to bring gifts,” said Vadim Zhirnovnikov, a 52-year-old truck driver who left Ruska Lozova for Kharkiv on Sunday.

Ukrainian forces pushed into Ruska Lozova on Friday. “People cried of happiness when they saw our soldiers,” Mr. Shumov said.

Sorgente articolo:
Russia-Ukraine War Latest News: EU Vows Military Support for Moldova, U.K. Bans Services Exports to Russia – The Wall Street Journal

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