Due to Russia’s large-scale aggression, a number of Ukrainian cities, inсluding Southern Ukraine are now at risk of a humanitarian catastrophe, provoked by hostilities. The Russian occupiers are deliberately blocking settlements to create the conditions for a humanitarian catastrophe. The captured Russian servicemen report that before the invasion of Ukraine they were ordered not to release civilians from the settlements, to use it as a “living shield” to restrain the actions of the Ukrainian army.
As the situation in Kherson and Zaporizhia Regions shows, the Russians are trying to create a food blockade, take the settlements “by exhaustion” to create intolerable living conditions, provoke panic and chaos in the streets. Thus, the aggressor State wants to provoke a food crisis and a critical shortage of fuel throughout Ukraine. The so-called “humanitarian corridors” are used by the Russians to break into settlements, again under the guise of a “living shield” of the civilian population. Currently, the situation is extremely difficult in Mariupol and Berdyansk, where there is virtually no heating, electricity and an acute food crisis. Russian troops are blocking these cities in order to finally break the resistance of the Ukrainian army under the pretext of saving the lives of civilians, because it is crucial for the aggressor to take full control of the entire coast of the Sea of Azov.
According to the forecast, severe frosts are expected in the Eastern part of Ukraine in the coming days, sometimes up to -20. This factor will put the civilian population on the brink of survival in those settlements where heating does not work. At the same time, the main task of the occupiers in the South of Ukraine remains to provide their own groups with fuel and ammunition, to collect damaged equipment and demoralized groups of their own troops, as well as “utilize” their own losses in human resources. For example, according to local residents, near the administrative border with the Crimea on the Chongar Peninsula, the occupiers have deployed a mobile crematorium, which burns corpses en masse, which are transported there from different parts of the Kherson Region. The local population fears that locals, killed and tortured by the aggressor in March 2022 among these corpses.