In the ruins of Staryi Saltiv the Ukrainian Saint Tropez

In the ruins of Staryï Saltiv, the “Ukrainian Saint Tropez”: the story of ‘s special envoy

By Clara Marchaud

Posted 1 hour ago , Updated 1 hour ago

The destruction of the Staryi-Saltiv Bridge a year ago to stop the Russian offensive forced residents to use boats, like this woman carrying the coffin of her son, who died in combat in January. Erik Marble/AP

REPORT – This seaside resort, once frequented by Russian and Ukrainian vacationers, was occupied and then devastated by fighting.

Special envoy for Staryï Saltiv

Yuri launches his leash from the bridge over Petchenihy Reservoir. After a few minutes, in this small village of Staryï Saltiv, 35 kilometers from the Russian border, the fisherman raises a wriggling pole as he has done all his life. But five meters below, along the stream, a shell crater the size of a car distorts the road. A few meters further, the street furrowed by the strikes ends in nothing.

The Staryi-Saltiv Bridge was destroyed by the Ukrainians on February 28, 2022 to stop the Russian advance. In the middle of the building, on an island where the leveling station stood, dozens of cars and a bus are parked under an imposing wooden cross. “Bless and protect,” it says in Russian, according to the orthodox proverb. To continue the route you have to go down and row. For weeks, Iouri and his friends, fishermen from father to son, have been taking the locals in boats to cross the…

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