The posters that appeared in Kherson in mid-July aim to disrupt Russia’s planned referendum in the province
of Ukraine while the fighting in the two southern provinces is heating up, a limited level of guerrilla warfare is also being waged in the territories occupied by Russia. RFE/RL’s Mike Eckel writes that guerrillas are trying to undermine Russian control through sabotage, assassinations, propaganda and disinformation campaigns.
In the first days of the occupation, which began on February 24, posters appeared on lampposts, bus stops, and blocks of residential buildings in the southern city of Kherson, which was controlled by Russia. “Russians! We will return you… – such an inscription was written on top of the picture of hamburger meat taken in June.
A poster attached to the walls of Kherson read: “Do you want to live? Surrender!” When you scan the attached QR code with your phone, you go directly to the government website, where Ukraine ways to surrender to a soldier are shown.
At present, fighting has intensified both in Kherson and in neighboring Zaporozhye.
Russia fights partisan activities, arrests people. The aim of this campaign is “information to get and scare people so that they accept the occupation”, – says the human rights organization “Human Rights Watch”.
Ukraine He calls the officials appointed by Russia traitors and says that they will be punished. One of them is a former member of Kherson city council and parliament Volodymyr Saldo appointed a governor to the entire Kherson region. Saldo used to be pro-Russian Ukraine He was a member of the Party of Regions. The party was released in 2014.
On August 5, he was hospitalized in Moscow in a serious condition. Russia news agencies about poisoning as a preliminary diagnosis news spread. On August 9, he was put on artificial respiration and regained consciousness.
Local deputy Sergey Khlan He said that Saldo has been ill for the second time since June.
On the day Saldo fell ill, he was shot and killed in front of the house of the deputy mayor of Nova Kakhovka, northeast of Kherson.
No one took responsibility for that.
In Kherson, several local officials were killed or injured in car bomb explosions.
The mayor of Enerhodar, appointed by Russia, and two people in Melitopol, Zaporozhye, were reportedly injured in the explosions.
Melitopol of Ukraine appointed by the mayor Ivan Fyodorov He told “The Associated Press” that “the resistance movement has three goals – Russia to destroy their weapons, to discredit and intimidate the invaders and those who cooperate with them, and to inform the Ukrainian special services about the positions of the enemy.”
The posters that appeared in Kherson in mid-July aim to disrupt Russia’s planned referendum in the province. The aim of the votes planned to be held in Kherson and Zaporozhye is to annex these regions to Moscow. In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region through a similar fake referendum.
The posters warn Ukrainians who love their country not to accept Russian passports. Such passports are distributed to residents of Kherson. Another calls for the letter “R” to be painted on buildings where local bodies are preparing for the referendum.
In some posters, they try to denigrate Russian soldiers and those who sympathize with them. They claim that Ukrainian forces are approaching the city of Kherson.
Another poster shows the instructions for making a Molotov cocktail.
On August 6, the organization called “Yellow Lent” (Jovta Strychka in Ukrainian) announced that it would publish and distribute the secret “Partizan Sesi” newspaper.