Ukraine dam: The friends who escaped Russian occupation in Kherson floods

2023-06-09 20:28:54  • 3 mins

By James Waterhouse

BBC Ukraine Correspondent in Kherson

Maryna and Valentyna's southern Ukrainian village of Kardashynka is an innocuous place.

A quaint collection of houses in the marshy lowlands of the Dnipro River's eastern bank, under Russian occupation.

Even with the liberation of Kherson city last November, the neighbours hadn't been able to cross the river to go there because of bridges being destroyed.

In a chain of events few could predict, they finally made that journey this week, while being rescued from the recent catastrophic floods.

"A boat was passing, we started shouting and waving," says Maryna.

Much of her surrounding area has been devoured by the Dnipro since the destruction of the Khakovka dam upstream.

Their homes sit close to this watery front line which separates Ukrainian-controlled and Russian-occupied territory.

"We've been waiting for help," says Maryna. "Valentyna is 86, I'm 76 but with many illnesses.

"It's been very difficult. There was no power, no reception, it was like we were on an uninhabited island."

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