“We saved Kyiv” The Ukrainians flooded the village intentionally to thwart a Russian assault on the capital
Residents of Demydiv say they have no regrets after intentionally flooding their village. It helped stop Russian tanks from reaching Kyiv and buy the Ukrainian Armed Forces precious time to prepare defenses, the New York Times reported.
Just a day after the war began, on February 25, 2022, Ukrainian troops opened a nearby dam to flood Demydiv, north of Kyiv, and the surrounding countryside. Flooding created a lake in front of the approaching Russian convoys and reportedly prevented the troops from advancing.
“Everybody understands and nobody regrets it for a moment,” said Antonina Kostiuchenko, a retiree whose living room is now a musty space with waterlines a foot or so up the walls. “We saved Kyiv!” she said with pride.
The flooding that blocked the northern rim of Kyiv on the west bank of the Dnipro River played a pivotal role in the fighting in March 2022, as Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attempts to surround Kyiv and eventually drove the Russians into retreat. The waters created an effective barrier to tanks and funneled the assault force into ambushes and cramped, urban settings in a string of outlying towns — Hostomel, Bucha, and Irpin.