“I got tired of telling the inhabitants of the region that the war is not over yet.” This was declared to Adnkronos Viacheslav Chaus, governor of Chernihiv, the region of northern Ukraine on the border with Belarus and Russia, the entry territory of Moscow’s troops on the night of February 24, which remained occupied until early March. “Since we pushed the enemy out of our region, normal life is resuming, but I keep telling everyone that the war is not over yet and that being here is still dangerous”, underlines Chaus, who invites citizens not to let your guard down, because “first of all on the territory of our region, as well as in the rest of the country, rockets continue to fly, the risk of aerial bombardments remains continuous and in the border towns there are daily artillery attacks”. Yesterday a city center school was hit in Novgorod-Siversky. “The toll – reports the governor – is three dead and twenty injured”. Victims who go to lengthen the list, still provisional, of dead and injured. “Since the start of the war in the region 23 children have died and 40 have been injured. These are only the confirmed figures, there may be others we do not yet know about. As for civilians in general, we have no definitive data, because we continue to find bodies. I estimate that around 500 civilians died and 1,500 injured in direct warfare “, says Chaus, specifying that the figure” does not include people who died from unsuccessful aid, because there was no possibility to call for help or to send an ambulance. According to my estimates, the level of mortality from natural causes during the siege period has doubled. “” The deaths of civilians, especially children, is what frightened me most during the period of siege, “confesses the governor. While “the most difficult moment – he adds – was perhaps February 24, when I realized that the war had begun, that for a long time there would no longer be the usual peaceful life and that we would have to try to adapt all the processes of life to this situation “. A necessity that will not end anytime soon, according to Chaus: “I think the war will last as long as there is only one Russian soldier left on Ukrainian territory. And as governor of a region bordering Belarus and Russia, I am well aware that even when the war is over, all the neighboring regions will find themselves in constant tension and everything will have to be done to protect our territory. both anti-tank and anti-personnel, which the enemy has left behind. Our region is very large, 32 thousand square kilometers, and has many woods. The enemy has been present on almost the entire territory and has left mines in many places “, he says. Chaus, explaining that “the active phase of the demining work is underway, in which the local police and the rescuers of other r egions of the country. We have also trained about one hundred people to identify explosive devices and verify how dangerous they are, before calling the demining service. “A job that will not be short:” If we also take into account all the wooded areas, we are not talking about months, but a few years “, says the governor, who” issued an ordinance prohibiting going into the woods and parks, before they are cleared “. The work of the teams” proceeds by priority: first of all the roads are cleared, then the inhabited centers and fields, also because it is the sowing period and many non-detonated bombs have remained there “. The damage caused to agriculture by the bombs is considerable:” In addition to delaying the timing of sowing, which is proceeding very slowly, I estimate that in the end, only 70-80% of the prepared land will be sown “, says the governor, who is also dealing with the consequences of the conflict on buildings -” about 3,500 destroyed and damaged “, infrastructu re, first of all the power lines, of which “we have already restored 90%”, roads and bridges. Twenty were destroyed, “but for most of these we have found a solution, obviously only temporary, also because not knowing the enemy’s intentions, we don’t know if there will be another invasion”. For the reconstruction, the state has already sent to the region “a first tranche of aid of 250 million hryvnia (814 thousand euros, ed.), Which we have decided will be used for the restoration of infrastructures, hospitals and kindergartens. And we know that it is Another supply of 150 million hryvnia has been decided which will be destined for the system that controls the aqueducts. We know that these figures are not enough, but they are only the first tranches “. (by Alice Bellincioni)
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