War in Ukraine: “Now it’s a prison”, testifies a resident of Melitopol who joined the resistance against the Russian army

In the south of Ukraine, the Russians occupy two large cities, on the shores of the Black Sea, Kherson and Melitopol. The Russians and the pro-Russians try on the spot to “russify” the inhabitants, by facilitating accession to Russian nationality, for example.

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Almost the entire Kherson region, including the regional capital, has been occupied by Russian troops since the early days of the Russian invasion launched on February 24. Bathed by the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov, this region of an area of ​​some 28,000 square kilometers had more than one million inhabitants before the war. On Friday June 10, the Ukrainian army claimed to have bombed Russian positions in the region, where kyiv fears that Moscow will soon organize a referendum for annexation to Russia. And for the inhabitants, vdrunk under occupation is getting harder and harder every day.

Now here is a prison“, says Olga, who has been resisting in her own way for more than three months now. “If they find something on your phone related to Ukraine, you can be sure that they will throw you in a cellar to torture you. They are barbarians! They rob us shamelessly. They can arrest you in broad daylight, search your car, take your phone. They can come into your house and take whatever they want“, she describes.

They are looking for me to kill me”

Most of the inhabitants have now left Melitopol: on the spot, there is now little food, no more work. But for those who have decided to stay, one feeling dominates: “The fear“.”The fear of being abandoned, the fear of not being freed and having to live under Russian occupation forever“, sighs Olga, who quickly had to leave her apartment, from the first days of the Russian occupation: “I am stalked. They are looking for me to kill me.

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In Melitopol, the elected Ukrainians were thus replaced by pro-Russian leaders: “They don’t do anything for the city except put up decorations and Russian flags which we call tea towels.If Olga chose to remain in Melitopol, clandestinely, it is in particular to organize convoys allowing the inhabitants to flee the city.

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