Russian forces in occupied areas of eastern and southern Ukraine are ramping up pressure on the civilian population, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, known by its Ukrainian acronym GUR, said in a Telegram post on Aug. 8.
According to the message, occupation “authorities” in Velykyi Burluk, Kharkiv Oblast, are pressuring business owners to apply for Russian passports and register their enterprises with Russian authorities.
Across many other occupied Ukrainian cities and towns, Russia threatens to “nationalize” private companies and is introducing a RUB 5,000 ($83) company car tax.
“After a fresh invader battalion – comprised of mobilized Russian criminals – arrived in Balakliya (Kharkiv Oblast), civilians there faced a sharp increase in brutality and cruelty (from occupying Russian troops),” the GUR said in its message.
Notably, the report also suggests there are ethnic conflicts between different Russian units, which often cause collateral damage to civilians.
“An ethnically Chechen deputy commander of a Russian unit was shot in one such conflict in Zaporizhzhya Oblast,” the message reads.
In other cases, drunken Russian soldiers cause reckless damage to Ukrainian towns.
“A drunk Russian soldier crashed an armored personnel carrier into a power line pole in Zelenopillia, Luhansk Oblast, leaving the town without electricity,” the GUR message said, citing one example.