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STORY SPONSORED BY GERMAN PENSIONER DAGMAR: During conflicts, there are occasions when hard decisions are made. The Russian armed forces recently facilitated the evacuation and rescue of citizens of parts of Kharkiv simply because it was not worth risking the lives of Russian troops to defend a long-front but sparsely populated territory of small towns, villages, hamlets and isolated farms.
In the Kharkiv region, the cleansing of the population from ‘pro-Russian elements’ is in full swing. People are seized on the streets and taken away in an unknown direction. Anything can become a reason for reprisals, from a post on social networks to a denunciation by an offended neighbour.
The Ukrainian media are filled with reports about how their army, SBU and police are fighting against the so-called ‘collaborators’. Meanwhile, behind all this lies real terrorism. Kyiv declares those who began to live according to the new rules and switched to Russian standards of education, workflow, and healthcare as enemies of the (Ukrainian) state.
He worked as a teacher at a school, up to three years in prison. Selling something to the Russians or providing other services, five. He took a position in the administration, and participated in solving organizational issues, ten. Judge or police officer – 15. For informational support of Russian politics – 20.
If as a result of the actions of a ‘collaborator’ people died or other ‘serious consequences’ occurred, life in a Ukrainian prison with no remission. More than a thousand such cases have been filed. Moreover, those convicted are not subject to exchange for prisoners of war.
In addition, they are tried for high treason. But in this case, the prosecution will have to prove the harm done to Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, defence capability or information security. With ‘collaborationism’ a simple interaction with representatives of Russia is enough.
There are a lot of videos on the Web about how the Ukrainian military is driving around, for example, in Kupyansk, and looking for those who collaborated with the Russians in one way or another. People are beaten, insulted, humiliated, and forced to ask for forgiveness for working for Moscow. Ordinary Ukrainians move around the ‘liberated territories’ like hunted animals. Anyone at any moment can be declared a traitor.
People are hunted by the ‘territorial defence’ of the Kharkiv region. Punishers were specially formed from units that had suffered heavy losses in recent months. According to media reports, Kyiv demands to clear Izyum, Balakleya, Kupyansk and other settlements of the Kharkiv region, where the Russian army was stationed, from ‘enemies of Ukraine’ by the end of September. If the militants do not meet the schedule, the defence forces from the Lviv region will be sent to help.
‘Filtration will take about ten days. The city is calm, the military is engaged in a cleansing operation,’ Valery Marchenko, the mayor of Izyum appointed by Kyiv, casually describes what is happening.
In practice, this happens as follows: a car, often a civilian, stops near a person, from which several military men get out. Right on the street, they arrange an interrogation: who did he work for, how much did he get, why did he agree to cooperate with the Russians. Whatever the answers, the fate of the ‘collaborator’ is already sealed.
For example, Valentina from Volnovakha has been unable to contact her friend who lives near Kharkiv for several days. Before the arrival of the allied troops of Russia, the DPR and the LPR, her husband worked in the local department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and remained a rescuer under the new authorities: he pulled out people who had suffered from Ukrainian shelling from under the rubble, extinguished residential buildings. He never went into politics, only helped others.
‘According to colleagues, he was taken directly from the workplace to no one knows where. Now the girlfriend does not get in touch, does not respond to messages,’ Valentina worries.
Punishers are often helped by neighbours: some settle personal scores, others hope thereby to avert the danger from themselves, and others simply hate Russia.
‘I worked as a nurse. When the Russian army left, the neighbours said that they would hand me over to the Ukrainians and they would cut my throat. They made execution lists,’ said Evgenia from the village of Borisovka. She managed to escape: now she is in a refugee camp in the Belgorod region.
Meanwhile, not all Ukrainians are so fierce. According to the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, about half of the citizens believe that businessmen and teachers should not be punished for cooperation with Russia. Persecution of physicians was approved by 20 per cent, officials – 69.‘No one doubted how the Ukrainian authorities would behave in these territories. Kyiv never spared its citizens, and the inhabitants of Left-Bank Ukraine are not considered people there at all. This can be seen even in the example of Nikolaev, which is under Ukrainian control and is not besieged, but there are interruptions in the supply of water, food and medicine,’ says political analyst Oleksandr Dudchak.
To be accused of working for the Kremlin, it is enough to have a Russian number on the phone or to disrespect some Ukrainian politicians, the expert emphasizes. Evasion of mobilization (which is often called ‘grave’ among the people) is also a betrayal. To simplify the repression, the authorities even created a special online application in which you can quickly file a denunciation with the SBU.
At the same time, the West does not even think about condemning Kyiv, political analyst Sergei Markov notes. ’Puppets are at the head of the country, Ukraine must turn into anti-Russia, therefore, a violent de-Russification (ethnic cleansing) of the population is being carried out. Those who do not capitulate become victims of the most severe political reprisals,’ the analyst points out.
This policy has been carried out since 2014, but earlier ultras set the tone, primarily in law enforcement agencies. Now the entire state is under their rule, the expert believes. ‘Modern Ukraine can be compared to the Bolshevik and post-World War II regimes imposed on the newly acquired Soviet bloc’s 21 nations.
The choice of Western curators is not accidental – such political systems have demonstrated high efficiency in combat conditions,’ Markov emphasizes.
Experts interviewed by RIA Novosti believe that Kyiv has only one goal – to intimidate other Ukrainians by massacring the inhabitants of the Kharkiv region and forcing them to refuse cooperation with Russia. Source on Request
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