Kherson resident has a message for Putin after Russian forces take over her hometown

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A Ukrainian resident whose town was seized by Russian soldiers told Fox News on Thursday that as many as 50 of her civilian neighbors were killed trying to defend their city.

Svetlana Zorina lives with her grandmother in Kherson, a Black Sea port city in southern Ukraine. The mayor announced Wednesday that Russian troops had gained control of the city of roughly 300,000 people. 

About 300 Ukrainians were killed in the battle, the mayor said, adding that many are unidentifiable due to the Russians’ high-powered military weaponry.

A view of damaged building after the shelling is said by Russian forces in Ukraine's second-biggest city of Kharkiv on March 3, 2022.

A view of damaged building after the shelling is said by Russian forces in Ukraine’s second-biggest city of Kharkiv on March 3, 2022.
(Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)

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“We had civilians who gathered that tried to protect our city,” Zorina told “The Story” host Martha MacCallum. “Every city of Ukraine has this kind of resistance. They tried to meet Russian tanks with Molotov cocktails in one of the districts where mostly apartment buildings are located. Russians just shoot it down. It was, like, 50 men.”

“As far as I know, there’s no Ukrainian soldiers right now in our city,” she said. “Civilians tried to protect our city the first day. Yesterday and the day before yesterday when Russian soldiers just started to occupy Kherson. But it was very hard, and a lot of people were killed. So now we just stay home trying to stay safe … to go outside in the daytime, and [we’re] waiting for [the] professional Ukrainian military to take care of our state.”

Kherson became the first city Russia captured since it launched the invasion of Ukraine a week ago. In remarks Wednesday, Kherson Mayor Igor Kolykhayev said Russian troops had entered the council building, and called for civilians to stay off the streets at night.

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Praising her President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his leadership throughout, Zorina said she remains hopeful that Kherson will soon return under Ukrainian control.

Russia claims control of the southern port city of Kherson.

Russia claims control of the southern port city of Kherson.
(Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)

“I want to say I’m very proud of my president. I consider myself Ukrainian, and it doesn’t matter that my city is full of Russian occupants right now,” she said. “I still consider Kherson a Ukrainian city. I believe that our president will take care of Kherson and [the] Russians will be kicked out of our town.”

Zorina said she is grateful to be at home with her grandmother because “seeing another person that needs you right now allows you … to … stay brave, to stay calm.”

“Me and my grandmother, we take care of each other because she’s hanging on,” she told MacCallum. “She’s very brave. We support each other.”

The situation has been “absolutely scary” for them, she added.

“You know, it’s hard to imagine this situation in [the] modern world, but we [are] also very angry,” she continued. “We don’t want to give up our homeland. We don’t want to give up our town. We are Ukrainians. We want to live here. It’s our home. We will stand for Ukraine and with Ukraine as long as needed.”

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Asked whether she believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will be defeated in his quest to overtake Ukraine, Zorina answered: “I’m sure he will.” 

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