Residents of Stanislav community in Kherson region are coming back home

Resident of Stanislav village of Kherson raion Tetyana Stasuk came back to her village immediately after its liberation from Russian occupants on November 11, 2022. Almost half of village residents have already returned to their homes.

Stella at the entrance to Stanislav village in Kherson raion. Kherson Grand Canyon near Stanislav village. Photo: and

«When full scale war erupted, I had to leave the village because my husband served in the Ukrainian Army. Since March 1, 2022 he has defended Kherson but then somebody betrayed him and he was found dead. There are many stories like my story here. The war touched upon each family and imposed its deep scars on each family. When we were liberated from Russian occupants, I have been very joyful and immediately went home because it is my native village, my motherland», as says Tetyana Stasuk.

Tetyana Stasuk. Photo: / Олег Батурін

Only 15 houses survived in Oleksandrivka

After liberation Oleksandrivka village of Stanislav community looked like almost completely ruined village. Now it reminds energetic beehive. Temporary blue roofs are everywhere. Some houses are covered by new tiles. Garbage left by Russian occupants has been cleaned in many courtyards. There are newly opened shops. People continue to return to their native village.

Oleksandrivka village. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

«420 residents returned to the village. Oleksandrivka is gradually recovering. Supply of gas and electric energy is partially restored. Some houses are already connected to supply networks. Water supply is not yet stable. We use artesian well but we do not have permanent electric power and use generator to pump water. Volunteers from Rivne region partially repaired roofs of 114 buildings.  They chose buildings on their own. We also participated and advised them to repair, first of all, houses of those who served in the army and houses of families with children. Why houses of our soldiers? Because now this is the way we can help our guys who protect us», as says Natalia Kamenetska, the head of local self-government in Oleksandrivka village.

Natalia Kamenetska, head of local self-government in Oleksandrivka village. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Only 15 from 921 houses survived in Oleksandrivka. 188 houses were completely ruined. 718 houses were seriously damaged. During the summer time, people try to repair their houses. In the majority of cases, they start with repairing roofs. Charitable organizations deliver them construction materials, necessary instruments for repairing works. Recently, Bucha City Council supplied two batches of slates.

Only 15 houses survived in Oleksandrivka. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Examination of damaged houses is still under way. Less than half of houses were examined and respective documents were registered. The social infrastructure (school, kindergarten, village healthcare point, house of culture, library) was completely destroyed. Administrative building of the local self-government survived, with partial damages. Mobile healthcare point has been launched in Oleksandrivka at the beginning of June. Necessary equipment will be installed in the nearest future and it will start its work in a week.

House in Oleksandrivka, with temporary blue roof. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

The house of Natalia Kamenetska has about among surviving fifteen houses. It requires new windows. Natalia bought them by her own money. She does not plan to apply for the compensation from the state. She says that the state assistance is needed far more by people whose houses were completely destroyed.

In order to apply for resources to repair damaged housing, after May 10 Ukrainians can use the service «єВідновлення» [e-Renewal] within «Dia» [Action] web portal of administrative services. Owners of damaged apartments and houses can receive 200 thousand UAH for repairing works. Owners of destroyed houses can receive housing certificate for acquisition of an apartment or house.

Ruined post office in Oleksandrivka. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

«We are grateful to the government that they met the needs of rural residents. The government allowed them to receive compensation for repairing their damaged houses, instead of receiving housing certificate. Many people use «Dia». Volunteers from civic initiative «Vostok SOS» help those people who do not have smart phones or are not able to apply. But now we have the following problem. Sometimes «Dia» does not identify the property registered in the single State Register of Immovable Property. Or it does not «see» some documents about heritage. So, data from state registers is not linked to «Dia». We are very much concerned about this problem», as said Natalia Kamenetska.

Burnt car on the street of Oleksandrivka. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Oleksandrivka authorities plan to build modular mini-city with 50 Swedish buildings under charitable assistance. It will host homeless village residents while they will rebuild their destroyed houses. Authorities will allocate land plot and secure supply of water and electric energy. They decided not to follow an example of Posad-Pokrovsky village where construction of temporary individual houses is planned. After renewal of Oleksandrivka, Swedish buildings can be used as camping for tourists or hotel.

Shop in Oleksandrivka ruined by Russian occupants. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Oleksandrivka authorities also develop projects to restore social infrastructure destroyed by Russian occupants. For this purpose, necessary resources are accumulated in the local budget. Ruined objects will be restored after public discussions with village residents. Current needs will be taken into account. For example, authorities consider construction of joint complex of school and kindergarten under the same roof, instead of restoring separate buildings of school and kindergarten, as it has been before the Russian occupation. The complex will host 300 pupils.

Permanent Russian shelling from the left bank of Dnipro river impedes upon full scale restoration of the village. Russian shells do not reach Oleksandrivka but they hit each day Stanislav, Shyroka Balka and all settlements along the right bank of Dnipro liberated from the Russian occupation.

Families with children come back to Oleksandrivka. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Air bombs from Russian «liberators»

«During last days, Russians launch air raids at 11 a.m. and drop their guided air bombs. As soon as there is an air alert, we go to the shelter», as says Tetyana Stasuk from Stanislav village.

Crater from air bomb at the center of Stanislav. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Recently, air bomb ruined half of the building of the village council. Another one exploded near the house of culture. By miracle, personnel of the village council survived.

Ruined building of the village council in Stanislav. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

As head of village council Ivan Samoilenko says, first three Russian air bombs hit Stanislav with an interval of 6 seconds on May 6, 2023.

«One of them has been around 300 kg, another one – 500 kg. The second bomb exploded near the fishery shop. We saw three huge smokes and heard two explosions (first two bombs exploded at the same time). An explosion damaged neighboring houses, electric transformer and network of electric energy supply. We succeeded in resuming the supply of electricity from another transformer. To protect houses from rains, the village council gave people the canvas for temporary coverage of ruined roofs and windows», as told Ivan Samoilenko.

Ivan Samoilenko near crater from Russian air bomb. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Russian shelling of Stanislav and neighboring villages continues. Oleksandr Babutsky, the Head of Stanislav Village Military Administration, tells about difficulties in resuming peaceful life and restoring damaged houses:

«Last Russian air raids damaged 38 houses. Some air raids occurred when people went to pick up humanitarian aid. It has been a miracle that air bomb did not land five meters closer to the people. Then, people would be killed».

Monument of Taras Shevchenko survived in Oleksandrivka. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

As Oleksandr Babutsky says, despite regular shelling and new damages, local authorities think about restoration of schools and kindergartens. If the work of Stanislav secondary school will be renewed, then, there will be the need for school buses, to secure transportation of children from other villages.

«We need to repair water pipelines. We are ready to pay for the development of repairing projects but we need money for their implementation. We should involve international donors or get reparations from the Russian Federation. The latter process will be slow. Our entrepreneurs also need assistance. First of all, they are waiting for the demining of their lands. Some of them have bank debts of 5-10 million UAH. They were not able to cultivate their lands last year. This year, they are not able to start working, too. How to survive?  We consider a lot of other issues – repairing of roads and reconstruction of houses. People will come back home despite any challenges», as added Oleksandr Babutsky.

Oleksandr Babutsky, the Head of Stanislav Village Military Administration. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

He told about an idea to create open air museum near Oleksandrivka dam. Thousands cars tried to escape through this dam from Russian occupants in spring 2022. Some of them were shot and burnt by Russians. Burnt cars are still standing along the road. Number of killed people is unknown.

Announcements in Oleksandrivka. Photo: / Oleg Baturin

Issues of security and safety are of paramount importance for local communities and their residents. Despite permanent threats, the life is coming back to all neighboring villages, as says resident of Stanislav Tetyana Stasuk:

«People are coming back. Other people are expecting to come back. We will reconstruct everything. What is important is to get occupants out of our land».

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