A large volunteer movement has unfolded in the Russian-occupied territories of Kharkiv Oblast, consisting of Ukrainians who are self-organizing to provide mutual aid to the local residents, reportedly impressing the Russian occupying forces, said Ukrainian intelligence via Telegram messenger on April 24.
“The social situation there is very difficult,” reads the message, which notes that in the Velykyi Burluk region, volunteers are delivering food and medicine directly to the houses of those who need them. Volunteers gather the money themselves and have steadfastly resisted any Russian “help” in this area.
In the Kupiansk region, which has no running water, volunteers have organized the delivery of technical water for elderly residents, though access to drinking water is still incredibly difficult.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, over the course of April 21-23, Russian soldiers stole the residents' power generators, likely for use for their own purposes.
“At the same time, the occupiers seem to be impressed by the activity and self-organization of Ukrainians in the temporarily occupied regions of Kharkiv Oblast. They say “In Russia, things would have been different. No one would have done any volunteer work,” Ukrainian intelligence writes.
The agency notes that Russian soldiers, in concert with Russian officers of the FSB security service, are attempting to demoralize the local population, spreading information that claims that “Ukraine has cut off power to settlements,” and that “Kharkiv is nearly completely occupied by the Russians.”
“At the same time, the occupiers are strengthening their control over telephony and internet networks. Specifically, (the Russians) have installed equipment belonging to the Russian mobile operator, MegaFon in Kharkiv Oblast.
Transactions are being conducted in Russian rubles, while the local population is calling to be allowed to visit the Russian Federation in order to buy products and medicine,” Ukrainian intelligence reports.