Ukrainian guerrillas target Russian-occupied regions
In southeastern Ukraine, guerrilla forces loyal to Kyiv are continuing the war in Russian-occupied regions. Andriy, a 32-year-old coordinator of a resistance group called Zhovta Strichka, or “Yellow Ribbon,” told the Associated Press his group has killed pro-Russia officials, blown up bridges, and identified targets for the Ukrainian military to hit with long-range missiles. Russian officials have said occupied regions will hold a vote in the coming weeks on whether to join Russia, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov have vowed to thwart the elections.
What’s life like on the ground? A citizen said Russia has introduced its ruble as currency, set up Russian cellular networks, and cut off Ukrainian TV, replacing it with large screens that display Russian TV in some of the town squares. Russia has also started performing sweeps, searching for guerrilla fighters. Activist Oleksandr Kharchikov, 41, said he was arrested in one of the sweeps and beaten and tortured before escaping months later. Vadim Karasev, head of the Kyiv-based Institute of Global Strategies think tank, said it is in both sides’ best interest to exaggerate how big the resistance is. It allows Russia to justify repressing occupied territories and is used by Ukrainians to demoralize Russian forces.
Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard interview U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Dakota Wood on The World and Everything in It podcast about whether Russia or Ukraine has a path to win.
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