Ukraine: At least 18 people working for occupiers targeted in attacks | Ukraine

At least 18 people working for Russian occupation authorities in Ukraine have reportedly been targeted in attacks by Ukrainian partisans that have become a key issue in Kyiv’s efforts to retake the region.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolik vowed to “continue the systemic liberation of temporarily occupied territories by military means” after Vladimir Putin attempted to annex four regions of Ukraine following a mock referendum on Friday.

He added that these means included both the regular Ukrainian army and the “intensification of special sabotage operations”.

“attachment” of [these] Regions exist only in Russian virtual TV reality. What greater pain could there be for the apologetics of the ‘Russian world’? [their] Reality and meeting with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, ”said Podolik.

On Tuesday, after Ukrainian forces broke through Russian lines in Kherson in the south, the region’s Russia-established leader, Vladimir Saldo, appeared nervous.

“It’s stressful, let’s put it this way,” Saldo told Russian TV. Saldo was rumored to have been poisoned in August and his death was announced by Russian media before his reappearance.

Ukraine’s security services last week published a list of 390 “colleagues” in the Zaporizhzhya region alone, whom they said would be prosecuted voluntarily for helping Russian election commissions. They also published photographs of another four Ukrainians, who they said played a high-level role in helping Moscow organize fake referendums in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

According to the Ukrainian law on cooperation passed in the spring, persons actively cooperating with Russia will be prosecuted to varying degrees depending on their seniority and the nature of their cooperation.

But the killing of Russian-appointed officials means some are facing punishment in the form of extra-judicial killings and lifelong injuries before they reach court. Russian state media and occupation officials have blamed Ukraine for several of the attacks, which they described as acts of “terrorism”.

For Ukraine, however, the attacks are considered justified in a war in which Russian forces killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers and forced millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes.

On Thursday last week, the series of attacks, which became a nearly weekly occurrence over the summer, continued when another Russian-established official was targeted in the occupied Zaporizhzhya region. According to the city’s exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov, a bomb was planted in the car of the education chief Olena Shapurova in the Russian-occupied Melitopol city.

Fedorov said on Ukrainian TV that Shapurova’s car, which he described as a key local ally, “burned somewhat” in the attack but had survived. Fedorov said the attack was carried out by Ukrainian resistance forces.

,[Shapurova] Headed the ‘education department’ and helped the occupiers implement Russian ‘education’ methods [in Melitopol]”, said Fedorov.


Ukraine says the partisan activities are designed to shake confidence of Russia’s perceived control over the occupied territories and discourage locals from cooperating.

Podolik told the Washington Post earlier this month that Moscow was finding it difficult to recruit and Russian officials were refusing to travel to Ukraine because of the risk.

“The risks and consequences are extreme – and they understand this very well,” Podolik said.

It is impossible to verify whether all the attacks were the work of Ukrainian partisans, and not, for example, infiltration among Russian-established officials.

In 12 of the 18 reported attacks, bombs were placed either near projected targets or under cars, indicating that the killers had received training in bomb-making. The remaining six attacks on Russian-appointed officials involved five shootings and one reported poisoning.

A former Ukrainian MP from Volodymyr Zelensky’s party, Oleksiy Kovalov, who had assumed the position of deputy head of the occupied Kherson region in July, was shot dead in his home on August 28. This was the second attempt on Kovalov’s life. A bomb was placed in Kovalov’s car in June. Russian state media later posted a video of Kovalov from the hospital in which he blamed Ukraine’s security services.

Ukraine has said that its partisan forces are an official part of its Ministry of Defense, formed in 2014 to intercept enemy territory if an area is captured, by the Ukrainian Center for Security and Cooperation, a Ukrainian thinktank. Serhi Kuzan, the head of the said. Specializes in military analysis.

Kuzan said Ukrainian partisans are led and trained by Ukrainian special forces, which are responsible for carrying out high-level acts of sabotage.

Kuzan said that while thousands of people joined Ukraine’s version of the Household Army, hundreds more volunteered to be trained as Ukrainian partisans. His job was to stay behind a business, build information networks, launch information campaigns, and return information to the Ukrainian authorities.

He said his work also included killing high-level political allies and captured commanders.

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