Russian forces stole art, raccoon, llama as they fled Kherson -Ukraine

Ukraine says that Russian forces have stolen cultural artifacts, raccoons, llamas, and other animals during their retreat from Kherson.

 The Kherson Art Museum (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Kherson Art Museum
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of stealing cultural artifacts and animals as they were fleeing Kherson

15,000 pictures were stolen from Kherson Art Museum, according to Sprotvy, a website affiliated with the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces. Sprtovy also claimed that the Russian forces have also taken plumbing fixtures, including toilets and household appliances. 

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has also made claims that Russian forces stole a raccoon as they fled Kherson. The ministry wrote on its Twitter account: "The occupiers stole everything from Kherson: paintings from art galleries, antiquities from museums, historic manuscripts from libraries. But their most prized loot was a raccoon they stole from a zoo. Steal a raccoon and Die."

The stolen raccoon has become something of a meme on social media, with many people using him to laugh at the Russian forces in Ukraine. 

The Russian forces have raided the Kherson zoo, stealing llamas, wolves, donkeys raccoons and squirrels, according to The Guardian. “The zoo’s raccoon was stolen not by some stupid soldier but by the Russian command,” said Oleksandr Todorchuk, the head of UAnimals, an organization that rescues animals in war, to The Guardian.

The stealing of a llama from the Kherson zoo was recorded and published by Euan MacDonald, a freelancer who is covering the Russia-Ukraine war. The people who are seen in videos are thought to be from the Taigan Lion Park in the Belogorsk region in Crimea, according to the tweet. 

The owner of the lion park, Oleg Zubkov, the person seen taking the raccoon, has said that he viewed these actions as saving the animals, according to the Novaya Gazeta Europe.

Russia's retreat from Kherson

Russian forces evacuated Kherson in early November, and Ukrainian troops entered the strategic city on November 11. The Ukrainian forces were greeted as liberators, with many citizens celebrating in the streets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at the city on November 14, celebrating its recapture. "I’m really happy, you can tell by the reaction of the people, their reaction is not staged," Zelensly said while visiting Kherson for the first time since its capture by Russian forces.