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20-30 “arrests” a day: how people live in recently occupied cities in the Luhansk region?

20-30 “arrests” a day: how people live in recently occupied cities in the Luhansk region?

Pro-Ukrainian civilians are being “cleansed” in cities that have been occupied, for 25 days, in the Luhansk region. Ever day there are 20-30 “arrests” said Pavlo Lysyanskyi, the founder of the Eastern Human Rights Group, in an interview with Hromadske Radio. 

Markivka, Svatove, Starobilsk, Milove and Novoaydar have been temporarily occupied by the Russian army since the beginning of the invasion. Russia is attempting to establish administrations there, bringing in former local deputies from the “Party of Regions”, a pro-Russian political party. 

“In Starobilsk, in Milovo, the occupation administrations are headed by officials who were under Yefremov, and members of the Party of Regions. Now they are trying to «clean up» the pro-Ukrainian population.

They conduct “talks» and «arrests». Last week there were 20-30 “arrests» in different cities in different ways. Their agents used to work there. In fact, they are trying to destroy the Ukrainian underground,” says Lysyansky.

In March people in Svatovo went out to protest agains the Russian occupiers. And in Starobilsk, people went out to protests against Russian shelling, shouting “murderers”. 

Russian collaborators collected information about local activists. 

“As far as I know, the head of the Markivska OTG, Ihor Dziuba, has sided with the occupiers. He has now been appointed head of the occupation administration. Some employees of local administrations do not want to lose their jobs, so they stay, do not resist,” says Lysyansky.

Russian occupiers in Luhansk region rob locals

Entrepreneurs were instructed to make payments in hryvnias.

“The Russian ruble is now weaker than the Ukrainian hryvnia. Realizing that the local population had hryvnias the occupiers gave the command to use the hryvnia. They want to accumulate a certain amount to then exchange it for dollars. The occupational administrations were told that their budgets will be cut. That’s why they are becoming self-sufficient,” explained Lysyansky. 

The Russian occupiers in the Luhansk region are robbing civilians, stealing equipment and confiscating housing. The head of the Luhansk regional state administration Serhiy Haidai has said that Russian troops are sending household appliances, automobiles, and food back to Russia. 

“The repression in Starobil’s’k, Novoaidar, Markivka, Novopskov, Svatove, Bilovods’k, Bilokurakyne, Stanytsia Luhanska, Shchastia, Troitske, Milove will end and everything will change! Violence will end, Ukrainian language will return to schools, government agencies, television, every prisoner will be returned!

The most important thing is you must be strong now! Do not despair! No one has been thrown aside! We are one, that’s how it has been, and how it will be again! Our strength is in our unity! Every day the Armed Forces of Ukraine are bringing us one day closer to the day when we will overcome, when we can see each other without any obstacles, when we be able to fall asleep in peace knowing there is a tomorrow!” Reassured Haidai.

In other news, Russian occupiers dispersed another rally in Kherson, shooting at unarmed civilians. At least four people were injured, two were evacuated by ambulance and one man was shot in the leg. And 14 thousand Russian troops are now attempting to take Mariupol — that amounts to about 10% of Russia’s forces in Ukraine. 

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