Gammalsvenskby is located in the Cherson area in southern Ukraine, on the west side of the river Dnieper. The village was founded in 1782 after Estonian Swedes from Dagö were moved to the newly conquered area of Ukraine by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. Many of the nearly 1,000 villagers who left Dagö died during the journey or in epidemics during the first difficult years.
In the 1920s, the Swedish relatives received a lot of attention in the Swedish press, which led to a campaign to bring them back to Sweden, especially considering the hardships of the inhabitants of the new Soviet Union. In 1929, almost 900 villagers moved to Sweden, where they mainly settled on Gotland. However, after only a few years, about 250 people returned to Ukraine.
About a month ago, Russian troops managed to cross the Dnieper River in Ukraine, a river that flows from northern Ukraine into the Black Sea in the south.
Since then, several battles have broken out in the surrounding towns and villages in the south. During the week, Gammalsvenskby, which is located along the river, was also reached by Russian soldiers.
The village is home to 2,000 people, about a hundred of whom are descendants of Estonian Swedes who were forcibly relocated from Dagö in the 18th century. Several of the older people in the village can still speak Swedish with an old Swedish accent.
According to information to Göteborgs-Posten, the arrival of the Russians should not have been met with violence or resistance. No one in the village should have been killed or injured.
– They came to the village and talked to the head of the village for 20 minutes. I do not know what they were talking about. Since then, we have not seen them here, says Father Ivan, who is a priest in Gammalsvenskby, to the newspaper.
Now the soldiers are mainly in Beryslav, which is the capital of the municipality to which Gammalsvenskby belongs. Villagers can hear the sound of fighting in the nearby town.
Despite Gammalsvenskby being spared from violence, the troops’ approaches have contributed to increased insecurity. Bread deliveries do not arrive, there is a shortage of medicines and they have been without electricity for several days.
Source: nyheter24.se by nyheter24.se.
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