Tomato and bomb: Ukrainians try to return to their homes in a city once dominated by Russia | Ukraine and Russia

When Olena Kushnir was first allowed to freely enter her property after the Ukrainian army recaptured the village of Nova Husarivka, she found an unexploded bomb in his little tomato garden.

“I showed the officers, they took a picture and said mine clearance units would come,” said the 55-year-old woman.

Nova Husarivka is a village of less than a thousand people and was under Russian occupation for more than six months before being recaptured in early September. Since then, Olena and her family have been dealing with some of the Russian occupiers that are still scattered around the village.

Among the residents waiting for demining units was Vitalii Orlov, who runs a grain storage house. The 30-year-old businessman said most of his equipment – even brooms and chainsaws – was gone by the time he returned home.

Undetonated bomb in Ukrainian tomato plantation — Photo: REUTERS

“I’m waiting for them to clear all the mines so it’s safe to load. Then I’ll send all the wheat to reprocess or dry,” she said. “We’ll figure it out. The country will not starve to death.”

Among the scenarios were also completely destroyed houses and Russian army clothes left behind inside a multi-sport court.

Outside her severely damaged home, Olha Nemashkina, a village teacher, was hanging clothes in a garden littered with debris.

“There was a pear tree. Everything that used to be here is now burned.” she said.

Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive has regained 3,800 square kilometers of territory in its northeastern region of Kharkiv since September 6, according to a Defense Ministry statement on Tuesday.

Since Moscow abandoned its main stronghold in northeastern Ukraine, marking its worst defeat since the early days of the war, Ukrainian troops have recaptured dozens of cities in a major shift in battlefield momentum.

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