Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2023

In Osteuropa 1-2/2023

Under Occupation
A Chronicle from Cherson

Mykola Homanyuk

Deutsche Fassung


From March 2022 to October 2022, the region and city of Kherson in south-eastern Ukraine were under complete Russian occupation. For almost two months, the area was exclusively under military occupation. Communal authorities, hospitals, schools, banks, and businesses operated in the Ukrainian system with unchanged managerial staff. The turning point came at the end of April. Leading officials were arrested and collaborators put in their posts. The occupiers imposed the ruble as a means of payment and forced businesses to reregister. At the end of July, the collaborators prepared the annexation with a declaration. In it, the Cherson region was proclaimed legal successor to the Tsarist empire’s Governorate Taurida, and from this was derived a right of self-determination for the people of Cherson to be exercised exclusively within the framework of the Russian Federation. This was the path taken for incorporating the area into Moscow’s state structures and the pseudo-referendums held at the end of September 2022. But already in October, the occupiers and the collaborators, under pressure from the Ukrainian army, gradually withdrew from that part of the Kherson region on the right bank of the Dnipro. Ukraine hopes to liberate the left-bank part of the region in summer 2023.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2023, pp. 69–96)