A pro-Russian resident of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol in southern Ukraine has complained about the behavior of the occupying Russian forces, in a release of an intercepted phone call by the Main Intelligence Directorate on May 27.
In comments on the situation in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, the pro-Russian resident, a woman, spoke about the behavior exhibited by Russian soldiers who took over a tourist facility in the nearby village of Kyrylivka, located on the shores of the Azov sea and a popular tourist destination. Their actions led to outrage among Kyrylivka’s residents.
“At my friend’s tourist base, 20 BTRs have rolled in and are going into every (house)...they’re taking over, taking them,” she said.
“Do they need to take everything from the pharmacies, what, do people have nothing to live for? Look, they wanted to bargain while they still had the chance, but they don’t care... Why would they do those things? It’s a complete mess. Banderovites didn’t act this way, but when Russians came... We haven’t seen such things ever. They’re talking about our Banderovites, but now we would like the Banderovites to return, so they come back, be-cause we’ve never ever been humiliated like this.”
“Banderovites” is a name Russians use to call Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Ukrainian activists. Stepan Bandera was a Ukrainian nationalist and a leader of Ukrainian insurgency during the World War II. He was assassinated by Soviet security services in 1959 in Munich.
Ukrainian partisans have continued resistance activities around occupied Zaporizhzhya Oblast, where vast areas are de facto controlled by the Russian army, and combat mostly takes the shape of artillery exchanges on both sides.
The Russian operation in the oblast is supported by troops stationed in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula to the south which has been controlled by the Russian Federation since 2014.
Melitopol, a city in Zaporizhzhya oblast, is a key provider of cherries for the local agricultural market. Zaporizhzhya itself plays the role of an important industrial center in central Ukraine.