Continued shelling and leftover explosives by the Russians in Kherson have hampered efforts for residents to return to normalcy. The UK sees no sign Russia is prepared to negotiate in a meaningful way.
Ukrainians on Sunday marked one month since Russia's troops withdrew from Kherson and its vicinity. The region had been occupied for eight months.
Since then, residents have struggled to regain normalcy, dealing instead with the aftermath of the lengthy occupation, as shelling continues to batter the southern Ukrainian city.
Kherson's regional administration said shelling has killed 41 people over the past month, including a child, while 96 people were hospitalized.
Access to electricity is still unreliable, although water is largely connected. Indoor heating has only very recently been restored to roughly 70-80% of the city, the result of Russians destroying one major central heating station last month.
The city's main police station, where detainees were reportedly tortured, was packed with explosives and made impenetrable to demining squads, which has hindered investigations into what happened there.
Ukrainian forces have had the painstaking task of clearing the myriad of mines and hidden explosives left behind by the Russians.
"The difficulties are very simple, it's the weather conditions," one unnamed military demining squad member told the AP, adding that some of their equipment simply does not work in frost conditions "because the soil is frozen like concrete.''
Kherson sits in an agricultural region that produces crops as diverse as wheat, tomatoes, and watermelon, but the fields are so heavily mined that some 30% of arable land in the region is unlikely to be available for planting in the spring, the unnamed deminer told AP.
As a result of the occupation, regional officials say some 80% of Kherson's pre-war population of about 320,000 fled. Only some 60,000-70,000 residents remained, making the city feel like a ghost town.