About 15 people from Luhansk oblast who have been forced to flee to Kherson region organized a small flash mob event. Holding Ukrainian flags and wearing embroidered shirts and flower wreaths, women, children, and a few men came to Svobody Square in Kherson to support their fellow easterners and the Ukrainian army, which, they hope, will soon return peace to their land.
“We want to support the Ukrainian Donbas. Many like-minded people there are afraid to express their opinions now. I am from the village of Slovianoserbsk in Luhansk region. When I talked with locals and frankly said that I was for Ukraine, some ladies approached me and whispered ‘We are of the same opinion.’ However, they were too scared to say it aloud, because just greeting ‘Glory to Ukraine’ was enough for a few young men to be shot dead in my place,” a co-organizer of the event Daria Kononenko told us. “I would like the whole Ukraine to see that not all easterners are separatists, and Luhansk to finally stop being afraid. It is time for people to wake up and stand up to our city’s occupiers. I appeal to our sister city of Donetsk as well. I hope that in this way, peace will come sooner to our land, and we will return home. My grandmother has stayed there, not wanting to leave the farm. We will return with wonderful impressions of Kherson, which I find somewhat similar to Luhansk. Its citizens are wonderful hospitable people, there is no evil ‘Banderites’ there, despite all the tales spreading in our region. We have been very warmly received, provided with accommodation, supplied with the necessities of life. We are grateful to the local authorities for it. We are now looking for jobs. I would like to come here more often in the future, to see more, to relax by the sea, but would like it to do as a regular visitor, not a refugee.”
The flash mob event saw people from Luhansk region joined by several dozen Khersonites. They sang the Ukrainian anthem and patriotic songs, talked about the east and its post-war prospects. Mayor of Kherson Volodymyr Mykolaienko and the Kherson Oblast State Administration head Yurii Odarchenko greeted all present as well. The officials promised moral and material assistance to migrants and encouraged them to join the region’s active lifestyle.