The invading Russian army has achieved limited success in Ukraine even after two months into the war against its smaller neighbour. While much of the pushback against Kremlin has been credited to strong resistance from Ukraine army - which has been aided by western weapons, the citizens of the country have also played a role in delaying Russian advancement to Kyiv.
One such desperate attempt to achieve "tactical victory" over Moscow includes the intentional flooding of villages leading to Kyiv. According to a report in The New York Times, the move by residents of Demydiv has thwarted a Russian tank assault on Kyiv and bought the army precious time to prepare defenses.
Even though the flooding wreaked havoc in the village, residents in Demydiv, a village north of Kyiv, proudly say the strategic benefit outweighed their hardships.
"Everybody understands and nobody regrets it for a moment," Antonina Kostuchenko, a retiree whose living room is now a musty space with water lines a foot or so up the walls, was quoted as saying by the US daily.
"We saved Kyiv," another resident said.
The strategy comes at an enormous cost to the country's civilian infrastructure, but residents in Demydiv feel that is a small price to pay to save their motherland from the Russian army which has superior numbers and weaponry.
My fellow Ukrainians have flooded the village Demydiv along with the fields around it. This has created a swamp that gave the Ukrainian army time to prepare the defense of Kyiv. Ordinary citizens, who behave as heroes. No regrets, just a willing to win. Bravery is in our DNA. pic.twitter.com/RjS4GerrqN- Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) April 28, 2022
The move has been particularly effective, creating a sprawling, shallow lake in front of the Russian armored columns.
The flooding played a pivotal role in the fighting in March, 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.
Demydiv is not the only village in Ukraine that has gone into a self-destructive mode to stop the Russian forces.
Since the early days of Russian invasion on February 24, Ukraine has been swift and effective in wreaking havoc on its own territory, often by destroying infrastructure, as a way to stop a Russian army. So far, more than 300 bridges have been destroyed across Ukraine, according to the country's minister of infrastructure.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced millions more and raised fears of the most serious confrontation between Russia and the United States since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.