Izyum locals say Russian invasion forces lived in squalor during occupation

14 September, 04:46 PM
Izyum locals say Russian invasion forces lived in squalor during occupation (Photo:Handout via REUTERS)

Izyum locals say Russian invasion forces lived in squalor during occupation (Photo:Handout via REUTERS)

Invading Russian troops lived in squalor and filth during their months-long occupation of recently-liberated Izyum, Kharkiv Oblast, according to a Sept. 13 report by U.S. television news channel CNN.

“The Russians stole everything that people left behind,” Izyum resident Valerii told CNN.

“They lived like swine. We entered one of the houses (Russian soldier lived in) – pigs live in less filth.”

According to him, Izyum first came under attack on March 4, when eight Russian Grad rockets fell near Valerii’s house. The man said he was lucky – a neighboring house was destroyed in the attack.

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Valerii said that Russian troops quickly realized that the so-called “de-nazification” of Ukraine – declared by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to be one of Russia’s war goals – was complete nonsense.

“A Russian artilleryman came to me and said: ‘we’ve come to save you from the Nazis,” Valerii recalls.

“In response, I asked him to show me at least one (Nazi).”

Valerii made an effort to talk to young Russian soldiers, trying to explain that they are destroying the formerly close relations between Ukrainians and Russians – especially in a region close to Russia.

At some point, a Russian scout approached him and asked a rhetorical question: “Who are we to liberate here?”

This apparent confusion and a sense of despair may have been the primary reason for how quickly Russian lines in Kharkiv Oblast collapsed in the face of a Ukrainian counter-offensive, Valerii said.

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