Kherson has 'no other choice but to protest' say Ukrainians defiant to Russian occupation

Rebecca Barry reports on the local resistance to the occupying Russian forces in Kherson

A university lecturer who says Kherson citizens have "no other choice" but to protest against occupying Russian forces has expressed concern that the whereabouts of some civilians said to have been taken from their homes remain unknown. 

On Monday, Lada Danik attended a peaceful protest which descended into a frantic scramble for safety when Russian soldiers appeared to disperse the crowd with gunfire. One person was left injured.

Demonstrators had gathered in opposition to the Russian occupation of the southern city of some 300,000 people on the Black sea coast. 

Videos captured the sound of heavy and constant gunshots, despite many civilians appearing to run away from the scene.

A video posted on Twitter, which ITV News has verified, shows people fleeing the scene after gunshots are heard

"The Russians started shooting, they started using smoke pallets and stun grenades," Lada, a university lecturer, said.

"Of course, we can be injured, hurt and shot. But we have no other choice to show that we are against the Russian invasion and occupation."

"But the scariest thing is that they arrest people, they take them from their homes and we did not know where these people are kept and what happens to them."

She said that Russia may control Kherson by force but will be unable to sway the hearts and minds of its citizens.

Protestors were once again dispersed by stun grenades, tear gas and gunfire as they protested on Tuesday.

In defiance of the heavy-handed dispersal tactics of the previous day, footage captured residents singing the Ukrainian national anthem in Freedom Square in the morning.

Zainish Hussain has said that he wants to give his daughter a normal life. Credit: ITV News

While a sense of opposition against Russian occupiers is strong, there is still widespread fear among locals over their military tactics.

Zainish Hussain has said he is desperate to flee Kherson with his young daughter, but says it is extremely difficult and expensive, given how far the nearest border is and because banks have run out of cash.

He said he used to be able to walk the streets with his young daughter before the invasion destroyed any semblance of peace he once enjoyed.

"These streets are not safe anymore," he said.

"The city is a disaster, there are no food supplies. Supermarkets are empty."

"Some of us are eating from dumpsters."

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