Putin = War Criminal
- Apr 18, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Russian forces have tried to intimidate local officials working in the occupied southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and deployed officers from a notorious, now-disbanded riot police unit as part of that effort, a local administration official said.
Berkut commander Sergei Kusyuk in Moscow 2018.
Russian forces have tried to intimidate local officials working in the occupied southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and deployed officers from a notorious, now-disbanded riot police unit as part of that effort, a local administration official said. In an interview, Serhiy Khlan, deputy chief of the Kherson regional council, also described in more detail an effort by Russian officials to organize a sham independence referendum, in a pretext for formally taking over the region or simply prying it away from central government control. Kherson, located not far from the administrative border separating Ukraine proper from the Russian-annexed peninsula of Crimea, became the first major Ukrainian city to be taken over by Russian forces on March 5. Thousands of Kherson residents rallied in the city center on March 13, in an unusual public display of protest against Russian forces. People marched through the streets chanting “Russian soldiers are fascist occupiers!” In one video posted to social media by Kherson officials, gunfire can be heard as Russian soldiers fired weapons into the air in an apparent effort to frighten marchers.
Speaking to Current Time on March 12, Khlan also said that the police officers being deployed under Russian orders included former members of a feared Ukrainian riot police unit known as the “Berkut.” The unit was notorious for violent repressions against protesters, and was blamed for most of the shooting deaths of Ukrainian civilians that occurred in February 2014, in the final days of the Maidan street protests. The “Berkut” unit was disbanded by the government that took over after President Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine; many of its officers fled to Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. “Kherson is effectively under the control of the Russian National Guard. They are the so-called police. These are people from the Berkut who, after the Maidan in 2014 fled Ukraine. Now they are returning, filled with hate for Ukrainians,” he said. “The Russians are deploying them in occupied towns to form an administration and install their so-called Russian order.,” he added.
The Kremlin is following the "Crimea model" in occupied Ukrainian cities ....appointing collaborators as officials and holding sham "referendums".
The "Berkut" (Golden Eagles) was the personal militia of disgraced former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. On the orders of Yanukovych, Berkut shot to death 77 Euromaidan protesters in Kyiv between February 18-20 2014.
Sergei Kusyuk, a former commander of Ukraine's Berkut riot police wanted in Kyiv for his role in violence at the 2013-14 Maidan protests, has been spotted commanding Russian riot police during the most recent crackdown on protesters calling for fair municipal elections in the Russian capital.