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Inside the Ukrainian resistance In Kherson, Russian collaborators are being hunted

“People are resisting all the time" (Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“People are resisting all the time" (Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


July 9, 2022   9 mins

“The situation in the city is very, very bad. The Russian occupiers are increasing their presence all the time. They ride around the city with impunity and break down the doors of houses and apartments. Soldiers usually come at around midnight and start searching for evidence of partisan activity. Often, they just take people away. Now they’ve turned their attention to officials. A few days ago, they arrested the mayor and some members of the city council. It’s getting worse…”

This message, from a pro-democracy activist inside Kherson, reached me via an intermediary on Wednesday evening. It’s getting harder by the day to find out what’s going on in the region — especially inside the city. A lifetime ago, back in mid-April, in a village just beyond Mykolaiv, I stood in the garden of a house destroyed by Russian shells, listening to the sound of incoming Russian fire overhead, and looked southeast. There, just under 100km away was Kherson. The Russians had occupied parts of the city on 2 March and had been fighting it out with the Ukrainians ever since. Today, the Russians control most of the region; and they are making their presence known. But from Mykolaiv and, critically, inside Kherson itself, the Ukrainians continue to resist.

Right now, the global media is filled with talk of the battle for the Donbas. But it is in the south, with its long coastline and large grain stores, where the war for Ukraine will be won or lost. And it is in Kherson, now under Russian occupation, where we will find the answers to so many questions vital to that victory or defeat. Can the Ukrainian army fight back with sufficient effectiveness to retake a major city from the Russians? Can the country hold out while its grain is stolen and its ports are blockaded? And, perhaps most importantly of all, how real and how strong is Ukrainian resistance under Russian occupation?

***

“We need to understand that the situation is different across the region,” Sergiy Danylov, Deputy Director for the Centre of Middle Eastern Studies, tells me. He continues: “The south and west parts of the Kherson region are a catastrophe. There have been mass killings and rapes — it’s a second Bucha there. Some villages were just totally demolished by the Russians.”

Geography is key here, as it is across Ukraine. Kherson is bisected by the mouth of the Dnieper River. On its right bank — what can loosely be called its Mykolaiv side — things are slightly better. Mykolaiv is still in Ukrainian hands, and it is from there that the army counterattacks. Its left bank is on the Mariupol side — the large city that is in Russian hands — and it is here where things are particularly grim.

Repression, though, is the same on both the left and right banks. Last week saw more mass “filtrations” — that most sinisterly prophylactic of words that in reality means that occupying forces violently interrogated locals and then deported many to Russia. It’s a system designed for both simplicity and cruelty: cars and trucks and troops arrive in the villages, and then either take locals to a special “facility” or dig a large hole and stuff them in it. The goal is always the same: to turn them into collaborators.

Yet at the same time, the Russians also try to ingratiate themselves. Key to their efforts is the concept of what they call “swift justice”. The principle is simple: justice through the courts can take forever, so why not let them deliver it instead? Of course, it’s also a way of legitimising violence. Soldiers now accept “complaints” from locals and when they break into houses and administer more beatings, they can say they are merely responding to citizen requests.

It’s a system that is easily open to abuse. Danylov heard a story from one of the villages of a man who went to the checkpoint and made a complaint to the Russians: his neighbour had refused to give him any booze. The soldiers went to the man’s house and imprisoned him for 15 days (on what charge it’s hard to fathom). In another village, a local criminal robbed a house, and the Russians came round to his place and beat him severely. “They are trying to say this is good because if you try to go through the courts it will take years whereas they deliver justice quickly. They are trying to ‘bribe’ the locals through things like this,” says Danylov.

Is it working? Partially. Their attempts to build a positive image are gaining some traction but they cannot mask the perennial problem of Russian soldiers: their behaviour. My sources inside Kherson are clear: the occupying forces are robbing people’s houses; they are always drunk, often from first thing in the morning; people are disappearing every day, especially in the port city of Genichesk. Just ten days ago, two women living in the Arabat Spit — a Crimean tartar and a Ukrainian — were taken from their homes and haven’t been seen since.

According to a resident in Kherson, checkpoints are an epicentre of Russian violence. In the beginning of the occupation, they were almost ubiquitous across all the towns and villages. Now most have gone. But one at the entrance at the so-called “Island” neighbourhood of Kherson city — with its shipyards, oil harbour and many businesses — abuse is rife. Recently, a woman approached driving a car with tinted windows. She refused to scratch the tinted film off the windows, so her car was impounded, she was beaten, and her windows smashed in with a rifle butt.

It would be unfair, however, to say the soldiers are just there to drink and beat people up; they also want to make money. Checkpoints are not just places of violence and intimidation, but of extortion as well. An informal tariff — based around different classes of vehicle — has come into effect. To get your car through without the endless queuing will cost $500 or more. A bus costs $2,000, a truck $20,000. Sometimes cars are allowed to leave without paying, and every so often the Russians shell them with BM-21 Grads — just to teach them a lesson for going back into Ukraine.

The Russians have also appropriated a network of petrol stations previously owned by OKKO and Shell. Prices there are now in roubles, which is the only currency they will accept. They’ve even manually set an exchange rate at 1 hryvnia to 1.5 roubles (the normal exchange rate is above 2). All this has come by the order of former Rada Deputy and ex-mayor of Kherson Volodymyr Saldo, who immediately supported Russian occupiers when they arrived and has become the head of the Kherson administration.

The Russians are trying to control all aspects of life, too. If you want to receive your salary into a bank account, you need to open an account in the bank the Russians have set up in the former Raiffeisen Bank building. “I saw huge lines of people there,” says one resident. “The catch, though, is that if you want the account, you also have to get a Russian passport, which people don’t want.”

“There is almost no cash in the city, which looks increasingly as it did in the Nineties, when there was a huge deficit and people traded stuff to each other out of the trunks of their cars. Then you could buy almost everything, but at two-to-five times higher than the normal market price. At the same places you can exchange USD and euros. In many shops, where they had previously specialised in one product, such as meat or vegetables, now you can buy everything from bread to cigarettes to vodka and home products — almost all of them from Crimea. But people don’t buy them a second time because the quality is awful.”

All of this combines to diminish pro-Russian feelings across the region. From the first days of the occupation, protestors hurled insults, not flowers, at incoming Russian troops. Now the resistance has morphed into two distinct strands. The first is violent; the second is what they call the “fight for the symbolic environment”. This centres on placing pro-Ukrainian graffiti and leaflets throughout key areas and destroying pro-Russian flags and symbols. In both camps, of course, there is the social ostracisation of collaborators.

Everywhere they’ve occupied the Russians have relied on collaborators. They don’t have enough people to both police the local population and staff all the administrative positions necessary for governance. Yet the number of collaborators appears to be small: if someone joins the local Russian government they get a Russian passport, and in Kherson, as of last week, only 23 people have received a Russian passport from direct collaboration out of a population of several hundred thousand in the city.

One of the first people the Russians try to recruit are school principals. Schools are vital to the system of occupation: where you have daily control of children, their parents are usually forced to follow. “Unfortunately, already two kindergartens have agreed to collaborate,” says the pro-democracy activist. “Also, we know that School #30, one of the most prestigious in the city, has agreed to switch its curriculum to the Russian one.”

Yet most remain reluctant to collaborate, despite the Russians pushing hard. In the towns of Melitopol and Kakhovka, those who refused — from a pool of mostly middle-aged women — were gathered together and put in a basement without food or access to a toilet, and then driven 30km from the city and dumped by the side of the road. They were told they had to return by curfew, or they would be killed on the road.

In the village of Bekhtery, the principal refused to collaborate and was beaten so badly she was left almost disabled. The head of the local council agreed to collaborate and tried to convince all teachers and civil servants to cooperate as well. Those who refused were betrayed to the Russians who sent patrols round to their houses to beat them up. “Collaborators are constantly looking to expand their influence,” says the pro-democracy activist. “They raid businesses and pressure new people to collaborate. Just yesterday, around 70 Lada Priora cars arrived that will be used to patrol the city. The fact that the collaborators seem so relaxed, opening new shops and petrol stations, makes some people think they will stay for a long time and that maybe the city has already been traded to the Russians.”

But while the collaborators may be making hay, they are nervous. “They move around the town in bullet proof jackets and with a lot of bodyguards,” he continues. “They are afraid of assassination. The city resembles the wild west days of the Nineties.”

Posters are now going up across the city, many with images of individual collaborators accompanied by personal messages.”Kiril, we’ve got something for you,” reads one with an image of the man’s head above drawings of a noose, a gun and an exploding car. A similar poster shows an image of a corpse half-covered in dirt: “A lot of Russians are already wormfood. You’re next.” Graffiti splayed across a central street in the town of Hola Prystan reads: “AFU [the Ukrainian army] is nearby. Orcs be afraid. Hopry [short for Hola Prystan] is Ukraine”.

”Kiril, we’ve got something for you.”

“I am proud of our younger generation,” says the pro-democracy activist. “They are constantly spraying patriotic graffiti around the city: blue and yellow stripes in parks and neighbourhoods; they fling paint against the many propaganda billboards now erected around the city.”

Then there is the more direct action. As the Russians have taken almost full control of the region, Ukrainian resistance has grown in proportion. On 16 June, Eugeniy Sobolev, the pro-Russian head of the Kherson prison service, was hospitalised after a bomb shattered the windows of his white Audi. Just under a week later, on June 24, Dmitry Savluchenko, the pro-Russian official in charge of the Department of Youth and Sports for the Kherson region, was blown up in his car. Serhii Khlan, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian Kherson Civil Military administration, called Savluchenko a “traitor” and announced that “our partisans have [won] another victory”.

These actions are boosting morale inside Kherson. “Attempts to physically eliminate collaborators are very popular,” the activist continues. “Everybody wants to oppose the Russians and is waiting for the quick return of the Ukrainian armed forces. There are even cases of poachers shooting Russian soldiers patrolling the river at night. That’s why the ‘liberators’ now move only in convoys of three or more boats. They are afraid. I think that it’s only by these sorts of methods will we have success. They need to feel constantly afraid for their lives.”

It’s hard to assess just how widespread violent resistance is. Most of the cases remain unpublicised because the Russians don’t want to appear weak or vulnerable and the partisans don’t want to jeopardise their security. In many small towns, there are a lot of cases of youths with knives stabbing drunken soldiers. No one says anything because it’s bad both for the Russians and for the kids.

“Usually those engaging in violent acts are young or middle-aged men, most of them are without any special training or preparation,” says Danylov. “But there are more sophisticated actions as well.  A few weeks ago, several Russian soldiers were invited for a drink, and all had their throats cut. I cannot imagine that these people were not trained, but there is never any public confirmation. Clearly, though, there are contacts between the security forces and locals. It’s impossible for an ordinary person to get explosive materials in Kherson itself — so these bombs are being delivered by professionals in one form or another.”

And so far, this resistance has been effective. The occupying forces have tried four times to organise a referendum in Kherson on joining Russia, but because of the initial protests and now the armed resistance, it has proved impossible. As the pro-democracy activist tells me: “People are resisting all the time as much as they can. And that resistance is increasing every day.”


David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

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Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

What a depressing read. It is so hard to see an end to this and even harder to see any form of reconciliation between the Russians and the Ukrainians. Memories will be very long indeed.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Long enough to remember when Stalin deliberately murdered and starved millions of Ukrainians, back in the 1930s.

Amos Sullivan
Amos Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Had Zelensky honored the Minsk Accords he signed and not taken Biden’s advice he might have saved Ukraine.

Ukunda Vill
Ukunda Vill
1 year ago
Reply to  Amos Sullivan

Yeah but then how would the comedian have stashed $1.3 billion into his offshore accounts (according to the Pandora papers disclosure).

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago

Good.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago

This helps explain why the Ukrainians are closing in on Kherson, even though they lack heavy weapons.
As in WW2, the more unrest behind the lines, the fewer soldiers at the front. Note as well that the bad old “Nazis” don’t have unrest in their rear. A Great Mystery that…
The Russian Army has a unique facility to ingratiate itself with everyone.
Ask the women of Berlin in 1945.

Ukunda Vill
Ukunda Vill
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I believe you mean every nazi Ukrainian.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

In Chechnya, the ‘security forces’ engage in many secret activities illegal even in Russian law; adbductions, torture, disappearances. They have ways of making corpses disappear to avoid any possibility of subsequent investigation at any time in the future. When Bucha was reoccupied, I was reminded of this, because I realised that sooner or later, far worse will happen, perhaps over a large area of Ukraine, and the world will know nothing.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
2 years ago

The talk of collaborators makes me think of the second world war and nazi Germany. It was obvious when Russia took the first areas that they were being helped by these scum. Russia clearly expected to be welcomed, especially in the Donbas, I think they have had a rude awakening that people do not want their rule. The number of war crimes being committed is beyond counting – I weep for the poor people of Ukraine and admire their bravery and determination in fighting the more powerful aggressor. Saw Ben Wallace on tv today visiting British and Ukranian troops here in the UK who are training together – one of the officers said most of these people have no military experience but they have such a will to fight for their country and we will give them the tools to do it. Those who think Ukraine should make peace with Russia should think twice – Putin has made it clear that he would like to regain territory that belonged to the USSR – one incursion into a NATO country such as Poland or Belarus and NATO, and by definition the West, are at war.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
2 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Hayes

Umm, Belarus isn’t in NATO; just about the only state in Eastern Europe that isn’t, though.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
2 years ago

What is a ‘pro democracy activist’ in this context?

Peter B
Peter B
2 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Someone who’s fighting for Ukrainian independence and freedom from the slavery of Russian occupation. It’s obviously about independence, not democracy.

Martin Spartfarkin
Martin Spartfarkin
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter B

Ukraine is a democracy, Russia isn’t. The Donbas puppet statelets even less so. Even if Ukraine wasn’t a democracy, independence would be a legitimate goal, but actually people are fighting for both.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Spartfarkin
Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
2 years ago

Is anybody noticing that this entire article is based on hearsay and anecdotes? It doesn’t amaze me anymore, because every article is like this, but still…

David Patrikarakos, activist-journalist on the Farewell-Ukraine-tour, still winning the information war.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

Three officials in Kherson have been either killed or wounded in attacks by Ukrainian supporters.
That’s not hearsay.
(Oh, and I’m very glad to see my prediction at the beginning of the war that most of the Russian armour brought into Ukraine would never return to Russia has come true.
Putin certainly is sending more in–that are 50 and 60 years old.)

Last edited 2 years ago by martin logan
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

If it were not so, then the occupiers would succeed in keeping the world in ignorance as to what’s going on.
I guess that when the British public were informed of conditions in, say, France during 1942, they could learn overtly from the German government, or from hearsay and anecdotes.

ML Manville
ML Manville
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

You are expecting resistance fighters to go on the record? To supply their real names?! And when a foreign journalist walks up to them on the street and asks “have you personally killed Russian soldiers?” they will freely talk about it with a stranger?
Or do you expect the reporter to only report on assassinations, etc, that he personally witnesses?
And regarding the “only anecdotes” bit, what do you want, official statistics? Did you miss the part, for example, where it says regarding kids stabbing drunk soldiers, “No one says anything because it’s bad both for the Russians and for the kids.” Also, it’s pretty standard for wider press journalism to present “anecdotes” anyway …
If none of that is what you mean, please explain EXACTLY what it is that you wanted to see here, in precise terms? Serious question, I’m trying to imagine what could possibly satisfy you.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  ML Manville

You live in a weird world. We don’t even know what happened in Northern Ireland because no one is prepared to tell us.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

The gas chambers were hearsay too for a while. Nobody could believe the stories that came back from occupied Europe – not even the Jews living there.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Stewart
Nigel Watson
Nigel Watson
1 year ago

Fancy a nuclear war with Russia?
PLAY STUPID GAMES, WIN STUPID PRIZES
FANCY A NUCLEAR WAR WITH RUSSIA? – YouTube

Ukunda Vill
Ukunda Vill
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Watson

Check the US report titled “Unbalancing and Overexending Russia 2019”. Its the playbook of US meddling on the border of Russia. A bit like Pelosi provocative visit to Taiwan, to stir up the hornet’s nest.

Lisa I
Lisa I
2 years ago

As brave as those resisting are, I winced while reading because every Russian death is going to be taken out tenfold on the civilian population.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lisa I
Lisa I
Lisa I
2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa I

Very true but I fear they will get even worse. It’s a terrible situation.

Ukunda Vill
Ukunda Vill
1 year ago
Reply to  Lisa I

USA is driving the Ukrainian scam. Check out the US report titled “Unbalancing and Overexending Russia 2019”.

M. Gatt
M. Gatt
2 years ago

Pro-democracy? In Ukraine? That ship sailed when Lewinsky was elected. Please stop the bollocks.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  M. Gatt

Er, “Zelensky…”

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
2 years ago
Reply to  M. Gatt

In what way was the election of (I guess you mean) Zelensky antithetical to democracy?

Allan F
Allan F
1 year ago
Reply to  M. Gatt

Try Tchaikovsky. It’s funnier. And also bollocks.

Amos Sullivan
Amos Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  M. Gatt

Zelensky is a puppet to the EU globalists.

Andy E
Andy E
2 years ago

Those so-called collaborators are civilains, in many cases. Like those two women who were working for Russian passport centers, processing tens of thousands requests for the passports. Car bombing those civilians with their families and kids can be called “resistance”, but it is also known as plain old terrorism. The “23 Russian passports” story is true, but for the very first day of that process. It is claimed that more than 100 thou are applied and waiting for the approvals.
If you need more and better stories about rapes and atocities :- google ombudswoman Denisova stories. She was good at that. Too bad she was caught lying and it was too much even for Zelenski.

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago

So the beatings will continue until the pro-democracy movement succeeds. Didn’t the region vote to become independent from Ukrain in 2014, or am I misinformed?

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
2 years ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

What? He is writing about Kherson. There certainly Was no referendum in Kherson, which have been in Ukrainian hands until this year. There where referendums in Crimea and in the two so called peoples republics in the east on the border of Russia, although there is doubt about how real those were.

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago

Ah, so the beatings militia would not operate in Crimea or Donbas if they had the chance then? Democratically respecting the referendum that you so glibly try to dismiss.

Last edited 2 years ago by Antony Hirst
martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

Sorry, you are completely delusional about “referendums.” There was never one in Kherson for the simple fact that the separatists were 100s of Kms away.
Even the one in Crimea was held after only 3 weeks of Russian occupation.
And nobody could run who wasn’t for Russia.
IOW, “Russian Democracy.”

Last edited 2 years ago by martin logan
Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
2 years ago

Is this the kind of people we are supporting? Calling people Orcs?

For those not familiar with the term, this is what Banderites called Russians (and Slavs in general).

In one of the first published mentions, in the Extrême-Orient journal, in 1939, the Ukrainian “nationalists” of Stepan Bandera contemplated leaving the territory of present-day Ukraine to found an independent Ukrainian state under the protection of the Nazis in Primorsky Krai (Manchuria), where a large Ukrainian minority had already settled.

These Ukrainian “nationalists” never sought to defend their territory, but indeed their “race”. They claim to be of Scandinavian origin, descendants of the Varangians and above all not Slavic.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francisco Javier Bernal
David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago

You object to calling Russian soldiers “orcs”. Do you object as much to the orcish behavior of the Russian soldiers? (See the article above, the well-documented atrocities at Bucha, and the evidently deliberate targetting of missile attacks on targets like theaters, shopping centers and blocks of flats — the Russians insist they are using precision-guided munitions, so on their own claim, those are not accidental collateral damage from attacks on legitimate military targets). If Russian soldiers don’t want to be called “orcs”, they should stop shelling civilian targets and committing atrocities.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Yetter
martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago

Indeed.
But calling every Ukrainian a “Nazi”–the worst criminals in history– is perfectly fine.
They also speak a Slavic language, so rather strange claim.
They certainly are descended from Scandinavians–in the same sense that Britons are. Scandinavians settled both countries.

Ukunda Vill
Ukunda Vill
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

The Ukrainian army is heavily nazi. The civilians are probably not.

BJ Kauppi
BJ Kauppi
2 years ago

“Be nice to your rapist and murderer”, you say, “so you don’t upset and bother me with it.” Call it enabling or aiding and abetting, if you will, in any case it’s simply callous and cowardly.
1939, interesting year. Just a few short years after the Holodomor, the year of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the expansion of ongoing wars (eg Russia-Japan, Sino-Japan) to a massive world war, vicious Soviet expansion (Baltics, Poland, Finland), etc. Ukrainians were utterly brutalized under the iron fist of Soviet Moscow, and they were being sent off to die in despotic Stalin’s narcissistic, predatory wars. That oppressed country and people, as others, have desperately been struggling to extricate themselves from the power and control of their narcissistic sociopath led neighbor for nearly a century now.

Lance Stewart
Lance Stewart
2 years ago

I’m sorry to have to say this but I only read a small portion of the article, and just stopped. Why? Because I have had enough of the same one-sided propaganda – here in the UK, 100% with RT banned. Fortunately I learned years ago when we were blasting Syria not to trust.our govt or the media and sought out multiple sources to get to the truth Now I’ve done the same over Ukraine, including the background going back to 2014, and even further to 1990 and the West’s constant lies about Russia, all of which led to that country’s patience snapping and intervening in the Donbas to end the solid 8 years of Ukrainian Army shelling of civilians, still going on. The conduct of the UK and US govts is frankly appalling, with its distorted reporting and many, many outright falsehoods.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
2 years ago
Reply to  Lance Stewart

You poor thing. Yes, Unherd should give a trigger warning to such articles. If you want more upbeat reporting RT, despite your claims, is still 100% available via its website.

Andre Friedli
Andre Friedli
2 years ago

Oh, great – pro-democracy vigilantes. You couldn’t make this sh%t up! And how do you distinguish between collaborators and ethnic Russian civilians, many of whom may feel that the Russian occupiers are protectors, rather than invaders? Are all 11 million or so going to be strung up from lampposts or receive a bullet in the back of the head? I guess that would certainly be the permanent solution to any potential loyalty problems.

David Nebeský
David Nebeský
2 years ago
Reply to  Andre Friedli

Russian “protectors”? Protectors from what or who? And protecting by killing, raping a looting? Are you serious?

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
2 years ago
Reply to  David Nebeský

If Ukraine had treated its subjects equally, we would not be where we are. The problem is that part of the ruling elite, never mind the puppet figurehead, are Banderistas and Neo-Nazis who pass article 9 of the Ukrainian constitution up their arse. That is when they are not burning synagogues.
In July of last year, instead of fighting covid, they dedicated themselves to passing a bill on “indigenous peoples”, which denies this status to the Russians. According to it, the indigenous peoples of Ukraine are the Crimean Tatars, the Karaim and the Krymchaks but not the Russians. Only the so-called indigenous peoples are protected against actions aimed at the elimination of their entity, destruction of cultural values, “deportation or forced displacement of the place of compact residence in any form”, “forced assimilation or forced integration in any form or “the incitement to racial, ethnic or religious hatred against them.
If one does not know how to read between the lines, it is because he does not want to.

So, yes, they probably see them as protectors. Russians are not the ones that have been indiscriminately bombing civilians for 8 years.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago

Both sides were “indiscriminately bombing civilians for 8 years.”

Eray Basar
Eray Basar
2 years ago

I’m so fed up with this arguments. Russia mingled in affairs if a sovereign country that wanted to emancipate. Russia’s answer was the annexation of the crim. You take away a chunk of land from a sovereign country and then wonder why nationalism is on the rise? You starting a war and wonder why more and more people turn against you? Leaving you with the only way they know to suppress this: violence. Bravo!

This brings me back to what started all of this to begin with. A majority in a country that does not want to go the Russian way. And who would be surprised? Russia, with such an amount of natural wealth and resources, is stagnating for almost a decade, and exploiting that wealth only among the elites and the very few. The Russian government that has effectively established organization pattern only comparable to the Mafia. They could have been bigger than China, bigger than some western states but they choose this. Who would blame the MAJORITY of Ukrainians to avoid this model at all cost?!?

Ray Bas
Ray Bas
2 years ago

I’m so fed up with these arguments. Russia mingled in affairs of a sovereign country that wanted to emancipate. Russia’s answer was the annexation of the crim. You take away a chunk of land from a sovereign country and then wonder why nationalism is on the rise? You starting a war and wonder why more and more people turn against you? Leaving you with the only way they know to suppress this: violence. Bravo!

This brings me back to what started all of this to begin with. A majority in a country that does not want to go the Russian way. And who would be surprised? Russia, with such an amount of natural wealth and resources, is stagnating for almost a decade, and exploiting that wealth only among the elites and the very few. The Russian government has effectively established organization pattern only comparable to the Mafia. They could have been bigger than China, bigger than some western states but they choose this. Who would blame the MAJORITY of Ukrainians to avoid this model at all cost?!?

Last edited 2 years ago by Ray Bas
BJ Kauppi
BJ Kauppi
2 years ago

Absurd and ridiculous. The only “if” here is if Ukraine didn’t have coal and gas fields, large grain supplies, major pipelines to Europe, and a significant coastline on the Black Sea, then and only then this might not be happening. Look at a map, fcol..
Or perhaps “if” some rather naïve and sanctimonious leaders of other countries hadn’t served up Ukraine in their delusional attempts to appease the narcissistic sociopath despot Putler, and not blocked Ukraine’s and Georgia’s acceptance into NATO in their callous and gutless Chamberlain-esque manner, this wouldn’t be happening.
Russians invaded Ukraine in 2014 after Putler’s other attempts at take-overs and puppeteering failed to provide much result, unlike his earlier excursions into other countries and regions before. His false-flag strawmen, ethnic ‘cleansing’, and barbaric brutality is the exact same SOP he used in each of his land grabs before. Russians have been indiscriminately scorched Earth bombing countries since the 90’s under Putler’s greedy plans. Putin kills more “ethnic Russians” than anybody.
Now drop the crazy decoy you’re playing with before more people get hurt.

Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
2 years ago
Reply to  David Nebeský

Do the killers, rapers and looters need to be killed, raped and looted?

Of course not. Those who associate with Ukraine and think Stepan Bandera is a hero, need to move to western Ukraine. For those who associate more with Russia or want to stay where they are, eastern Ukraine is the place to be. Maybe southern Ukraine as well.

Of course, it would have been best if they could all live together, but that ship has sailed and you can thank the US neocons and Azov heroes for it. They wanted this war. And they got it. The man on the street (and in the trenches) is now paying the price, as per usual.

All we’re waiting for now, is for westerners to get off their moral-outrage-and-virtuous/racist-superiority horse.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

Sadly, the westerners seem to be giving the latest arms by the tonne to Ukraine.
And now they are about to begin their offensive…

Snapper AG
Snapper AG
2 years ago
Reply to  martin logan

What’s sad about that? If the Ukrainians can destroy the Russian army and drive them out of Ukraine that would be a glorious day.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Snapper AG

Irony?!

Snapper AG
Snapper AG
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

Of course the killers, rapers, and looters need to be killed. Every killing of a Russian soldier or collaborator is a heroic, virtuous act. You’re obviously a Russian stooge.

BJ Kauppi
BJ Kauppi
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

This delusional rhetoric gets more bizarre by the day. How do people get so suckered into this gibberish? If you are not a cult-controlled Putler troll, then please learn to recognize those tired old strawman tactics when you see them. Don’t take the bait, don’t chase the decoys, don’t get excited; just learn to recognize this obvious scam.
If you can do that, then try to move onto learning something about narcissistic abuse and control, whether it’s regarding cult ‘leaders’ or sociopathic despots like Vlady Putler, et al. The patterns are textbook and universal, and may be eye-opening for you.

Snapper AG
Snapper AG
2 years ago
Reply to  Andre Friedli

An ethnic Russian who is a Ukrainian citizen is still a traitor if he helps the Russians. Traitors deserve death.

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Snapper AG

hmm.. Beheading maybe? By ethnic group maybe? No trial by court maybe? Wow.

BJ Kauppi
BJ Kauppi
2 years ago
Reply to  Andre Friedli

Decoy tactics are as old as human conflict and very well known. It’s inherent standard fare even in competitive sport, to get one’s opponent to chase a fake-out to clear a path through their defenses. The Trojan Horse, Patton’s Ghost Army, submarine sonar decoys, Iskander missiles are famous and effective examples.
The immediately costly and/or deadly nature of the aforementioned decoy tactics clearly motivate folks to recognize and mitigate such tactics with vigor, no one willingly falls for them. This is not the case, oddly enough, with the very same decoy tactics used in arguments, marketing, propaganda, scamd, or info-wars. Narcissists and other scammers have these tactics built-in, gaslighting is as natural as breathing to them. While this often makes them look more convincing, it doesn’t take much effort to see right through it. Thing is, when people hear what they want to hear for whatever reason, they don’t even see at all.
This is often naïve and irresponsible, and too often downright dangerous. But unlike military weapon decoys, or even sports fake-outs, people willingly chase and latch themselves onto these verbal decoys, strawmen, and other bs excuses. These tactics appeal to some people’s emotional thinking, they get caught up in them, and basic reason and clarity gets lost to even the most ridiculous and outrageous bs decoy stories. Like these absurd stories Putler puts out.
This gibberish about “ethnic Russians” is just that. Putler kills more “ethnic Russians” than anybody, and he’s been robbing them blind for decades. He’s repeatedly invaded to destroy other’s countries in blatant land grabs to further his energy mafia empire and span of control to continue lining his own pockets and those of his cronies. Just look at a map, it’s no coincidence all these invented “nazis” suddenly appeared where the pipelines, coal and gas fields, and Black Sea/Med access and routes happen to be. By definition Putler is an absolute fascist, and in typical narcissistic sociopath form he deflects and projects his own crimes onto others, especially his victims. It’s textbook.
So why would you want to fall for such a thing? Do you just repeat Putler propaganda or are you making it up yourself as you go? Did you want to be part of a cult – surprisingly many do – or were you somehow naively ensnared? Don’t chase the decoys, don’t take the bait. It just might save you, or at least your rep.