The joy of the liberation of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson is great. Many families are reunited.
Jenny WagnerNews editor
Two Ukrainians accused of collaborating with Russian occupation forces, tied to lampposts with cable duct tapes, their heads bowed under hooded sweatshirts and exposed to the hatred of local residents, are currently demonstrating in the liberated city of Kherson. The humiliated alleged collaborators await their punishment. But they are not the only ones.
Those who benefited from the Russians now have to answer for themselves. In his evening speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (44) spoke of the “neutralization of saboteurs”. The authorities called on the population of Kherson to track down the traitors – or collaborators.
During the eight months of occupation, the Ukrainian population of Kherson was divided between those who resisted the aggressors – even at the risk of their lives – and those who joined the invaders. The latter took over some high government posts. In between lived ordinary people who were just trying to survive.
“All Will Be Punished”
No collaborator will be able to escape responsibility before the law, Kherson city mayor’s advisor Roman Golovnya said, according to Ukrinform. A: “All will be punished.”
At the beginning of the war, Ukraine adopted new laws to limit cooperation with the enemy. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, since March voluntary entry into the Russian education system is punishable by three years in prison. Anyone who takes a senior position in the Russian administration will get up to 10 years, and anyone who helps the Russians with law enforcement will get up to 15 years. The Ukrainian responsible for the death of another Ukrainian faces life in prison.
What happens in case of involuntary cooperation?
According to Ukrinform, the Ukrainian secret service has already uncovered more than 700 collaborators since the beginning of the war. As the “Guardian” reported in the past, the Ukrainians want to “quickly and severely” punish those responsible. But there are different types of cooperation. “There are people who were looking forward to changing sides, there are people who collaborated because they wanted to save their lives,” Ilko Boschko, a Ukrainian military official, told the newspaper. “And there are also people who were forced to collaborate at gunpoint,” he continues.
Ukrainian authorities say they will all get a fair trial. “It’s not enough for someone to come to us and point the finger at someone else and say, ‘That’s a collaborator,'” Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the investigative branch of the Ukrainian National Police in the Kharkiv region, told Zdi. Street Journal..
There have already been several convictions. For example, in Luhansk, a collaborator was sentenced to 12 years in prison. During the occupation, he passed information about Ukrainian troops to the Russians.
Many have already fled the liberated areas
Many collaborators left Ukraine when defeat was clear. Because they know they can’t get out of it. But not everyone managed to escape. “Those who failed to escape are trying to disperse among the peaceful patriotic people,” Golovnya said.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear why the two Ukrainian associates are chained to lanterns while they await their “fair trial.” However, according to the Meduza news portal, there have always been attempts to assassinate Ukrainian officials who allegedly helped the Russians. In the chaos of war, it is also difficult to trace who collaborated voluntarily and who was coerced. Ukrainians are divided, according to “Spiegel” some even fear that a civil war could break out.
According to the Daily Mail, the Ukrainian military believes that Russian soldiers could be camouflaged or hiding. In addition, the entire city is devastated, the electricity and water supply is affected, individual parts of the city are undermined. Amid the hugs and tears of joy, fear is still in the air—because the fight isn’t over yet.