Kherson is as poignant as it is painful to read, and it is a distressingly raw narrative. Regina Watts pulls no punches and provides the reader with no reprieve. The depths of human cruelty and depravity are on grim display without any consideration for the reader because that’s the point.
One Ukrainian woman’s search for food in a devastated city becomes a nightmare as a group of Russian soldiers decide that only Nazis would oppose them–and where Nazis are concerned, all bets are off.
Much like with her previous story, Cleared Away, Watts is showcasing the horrors of war that often get overlooked as body counts and large-scale atrocities steal our attention from the individual cruelties. Cultures around the world already victimize women under normal circumstances, but in war, anything goes.
The horrors in this story are all too common wherever there is war. If you think it’s something distant and perpetrated only by monsters from foreign lands, you’re missing a whole lot of what American forces did during World War II and Vietnam. Monstrous acts happen when people convince themselves that they’re the “good guys” no matter what they do. Of course, it doesn’t help that there are people who will eagerly place themselves in positions to be the “good guys” in situations like these.
What’s happening in this story isn’t unique to Ukraine, but it’s happening now, and that immediacy means we can do something about it. Regina Watts has graciously provided us with an opportunity to help, and buying a copy of Kherson–even if you don’t read it–will guarantee that money gets to outreach for the victims of the conflict.
The link to purchase Kherson is below: