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08:08: Near the southern front, a bicycle nursery to wait for the return of peace

They are green, red, black, blue… All abandoned. In Zelenodolsk, a small Ukrainian town near the southern front, still bombarded Thursday by the Russian army, hundreds of bicycles tell the story of the save-which-can face the enemy. Some machines were pampered: a sweater protects a saddle, a small bag is attached to a frame. Others look more like work tools, rusty, hard to hurt.

Luggage racks are sometimes equipped with a baby seat, sometimes with a crate. There is also a heavy scooter for disabled people, a few pushchairs, wheelchairs, carts and a small brown bike with wheels. More than 600 cycles wait in and around a small warehouse in Zelenodolsk. “We keep them for their owners” so that they can recover them at the end of the war, says Vitaliï Rekhlitskiï, who works for the municipality.

Many of them arrived in early March, as the Russian army gradually took control of part of the neighboring Kherson region. At that time, the invader had already stolen most of the cars in the surrounding villages, says Vitaliï Rekhlitskiï. To leave, there was only the bike.

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