Russian politicians, who have been frequenting the occupied Kherson lately, criminally say in interviews and comments that supposedly “Russia is here forever.”

And the longer the occupation drags on, the more the aggressors will spread the narrative among the population who did not dare, do not have the opportunity or did not want to leave the Kherson Region, that supposedly “you can live under any government, as long as you don’t bombed.”

The compelled migrants who have left the region find employment in a new place, acquire social ties there. The state power almost every day reminds that “Kherson is Ukraine”, promises to liberate the region. The Ukrainian military is also talking about the liberation of the region.

In a word, while the situation with the occupied Russia for the most part of the Kherson Region may remind an external observer of the situation with Donbass, but not the current one, but of 2014. There are slight similarities with the Crimean situation eight years ago. At that time, politicians also vied with each other about the imminent, in their opinion, return of the occupied territories under the control of Ukraine, the military were very restrained.

However, there are very few objective similarities between the situation in 2014 in the Donbass in Crimea and the situation in 2022 in the Kherson region. And if eight years ago it was possible to postpone the return of the occupied territories until “better times”, now the earliest possible de-occupation of the Kherson Region is a fundamentally important issue for the security of the whole country.

Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, Ukraine has temporarily lost control over the entire Azov coast, as well as part of the Black Sea, including about 200 kilometers of coastline that fall to the share of the Kherson region. These are the ports of Kherson, Skadovsk and Khorlov, from which Kherson seaport and riverport worked in recent years. The port of Skadovsk is almost idle due to the occupation of Crimea, and the Khorly port point is in suspended animation, but they are all potentially important for the economy.

This is the presence of a sea border, which is much more difficult for the aggressor country in terms of attack, which we are now seeing in the Odessa and Nikolaev regions. Their Russians wanted to storm from the sea, but all attempts turned into a loud fiasco and heavy losses. And now Ukraine remains a de facto maritime power and has its own controlled maritime borders thanks to maintaining control over the Odessa Region and most of the Mykolaiv Region.

That is, the Kherson Region, which for quite a long period was a subsidized region with a weak economy, turned out to be strategically important for the country according to the “Hamburg account”, and the loss of control over the region is fraught with negative consequences.

Also, the Kherson region is about two million hectares of agricultural land, and according to this indicator, the region is the leader in the country, not a single region has more arable land. That is, it is impossible to overestimate the importance of the Kherson Region for the country’s food security, its export potential.

And the full availability of such a granary as part of Ukraine is a very significant component of the country’s significance in the world. Not without reason, back in 2014, Russia criminally started talking about the “Donbass-Pridnestrovie” corridor, which was supposed to deprive Ukraine of its southern territories and access to the sea.

Let’s not be hypocrites, for abroad Ukraine is not only a country that has taken a course towards democracy and progressive values, but also a potentially very good business partner, primarily as a food exporter. And the assistance provided to us largely depends on how much Ukraine itself will strive to win back and maintain the potential that makes it attractive for further economic cooperation.

And in the conditions of the beginning world economic and, first of all, food crisis provoked by Russia, the value of Ukraine with the Kherson region under its full control will increase so much that it is the agricultural capabilities of this southern region that will allow our country to solve a large part, alas, of colossally serious problems that have already been created and still create a war with Russia.

An important factor is the internal mood in the region. Alas, everywhere the population is divided into active and thinking people, as well as those who think in the category of “homeland – where the ass is warm”.

They are most susceptible to the influence of Russian propaganda – very aggressive, in some ways even superior to that of Goebbels. In the conditions of the obvious lack of support by Kherson residents for the crazy ideas of the “Russian world”, the occupiers will bet on this particular “swamp”.

In the past few days, Chornobaivka, a suburb of Kherson, has been under heavy shelling. During shelling on May 18 and 19, several houses were destroyed there, and two civilians were killed. Residents of Kherson write on social networks and in public that it is from the places of Kherson Region, occupied by Russian invaders, rockets were fired at Chornobaivka, some of which are shot down by Russian air defense, and some fall into residential buildings. It’s almost impossible to hide it.

From the territory of the Kherson Region, namely, from the vicinity of the occupied city of Oleshki, on May 7, the Russian aggressors fired a “Tochka U” missile at the town of Hola Pristan.

But Russian propaganda stubbornly accuses the Armed Forces of Ukraine of shelling the civilian population and praises the air defense of the occupiers allegedly “saving Kherson residents”. Despite the overwhelming degree of delusional statements of Russian propagandists, some of the residents of the region can believe Russian propaganda, that criminally inspires: “let anyone be in power, as long as they don’t shoot”.

Given the fact that many active and thinking people left the region, fearing war and repression, people who are potentially influenced by the propaganda of the occupiers, alas, cannot be ignored. And the longer the occupation lasts, the stronger will be the zombification of such persons by the aggressor’s propaganda.

However, with regard to migrants, it is impossible not to pay attention to such an aspect as the integration of the most economically and socially active part of them in new places of residence. Simply put, the longer the occupation lasts, the more likely it is that the Kherson Region will lose its best intellectual and labor potential.

Highly qualified specialists who left the region will then find employment in other regions of Ukraine, and employers who value personnel will take care of creating favorable conditions for good workers, better than they had in the Kherson Region.

We don’t have to look far for an example. According to sociological studies, already in the first year of the occupation of Crimea and part of the territory of Donetzk and Luhansk regions, about a third of people who left from there spoke about their intention to stay in their new place of residence forever, and over time this percentage only increased.

Delaying the de-occupation of the Kherson Region will lead to the loss by the region of a significant part of human capital, intellectual and labor resources, which is extremely important for any region.

If the occupation of the Kherson Region lasts until the end of the summer, there will inevitably arise such a problem as the beginning of the school year in schools and other educational institutions. For a propaganda picture, the occupiers will probably want to organize “first calls” in schools, as well as full-time education of children “according to the Russian program”.

It is hard to believe in statements about allegedly “3.5 thousand teachers from the Kherson region”, already forcibly sent by the occupiers “for retraining”. But what you can willingly believe is that a significant part of the Kherson teachers, not wanting to cooperate with the occupiers, left the region.

But what should the families with school-age children who remained in the occupied region do in such a situation? Leading children to schools where, most likely, collaborating teachers from the occupied Crimea, terrorist “republics” or Russian teachers will be sent “for the proper organization of the educational process”? To schools where the occupiers are probably criminally organizing “yunarmiya” and other “brainwashing” of children?

It remains only to travel to the free territory through the war zone, exposing parents and children to colossal risk.

A temporary way out of the situation could be the creation in Ukraine of a full-fledged online learning system with a system of testing, assessment and issuance of a document of education as a result, albeit in electronic form, but with the possibility of obtaining a regular document on its basis after de-occupation or departure of a graduate to a free territory with a safe environment for doing so.

The Kherson Region in its significant part has been occupied for almost three months, and now the Russian military, realizing that they can’t advance any further, are building fortifications, cutting down valuable forest for the region, stealing and taking building materials wherever possible. And the longer the occupation lasts, the more serious “fortified areas” will be created by the Russian nazi.

Undoubtedly, the liberation of the occupied territories in the southern part of Ukraine requires serious preparations and is associated with significant risks. Only one undermining of the dam of the Kakhovska hydroelectric power station by the invaders, if it is allowed, can destroy significant resources of the region. But it is necessary to liberate the area from Russian invaders.

Without the liberation of the Kherson region, our country will not regain control over the North Crimean Canal, which is strategically important in many respects.

And if the Russians are no longer able to further seize even an inch of Ukrainian land, an increase, comparable to February 2022, in the occupied territories, from where the aggressor will threaten our security, will still become a significant loss in this war. And Russian propagandists, of course, will take advantage of this to turn the collapse of the Kremlin’s “Ukrainian blitzkig” into an alleged “successful completion of a special operation”.

Therefore, we are confident that the current justified statements by the state authorities of Ukraine will not change, and no one will talk about any “de-occupation by political tools”, as was the case with the Donetsk and Crimea, in relation to the Kherson Region.

Russia has already more than eloquently proved that it is not at all the country with which it is possible to negotiate, especially about de-occupation. Liberation is possible only by military means. And not only in the Kherson Region.

Therefore, the ongoing continuation of martial law and mobilization by the Ukrainian authorities, their refusal to negotiate with the aggressor on its terms, fully meet the vital interests of the Ukrainian People.