Andriy Melnyk, Chief of Staff of the Shtorm volunteer battalion of the Interior Ministry in Odesa oblast, declared that in four days terrorist gunmen shot over 60 civilians who helped Ukrainian soldiers in Luhansk oblast.
UNIAN correspondent reported that Melnyk announced the information at a press conference in the Odesa Media Crisis Center. He added that when the men “retreated from Lutuhyne in September, Chechen and South Ossetian divisions took over the city and shot locals who had previously provided aid to the Ukrainian soldiers.”
“On the first day, 22 people were shot in Heorhiivka, Lutuhyne and Uspenka. The bodies were not buried, but abandoned near a solid-waste landfill, between Lutuhyne and Uspenka. About 40 more civilian were executed in the next three days. Locals who managed to get out of there through Shchastia told us what had happened.” said Melnyk.
He added that the terrorists did not allow anyone to bury the dead.
“These divisions also preyed on ordinary buildings, especially on homes belonging to people who had to leave and follow us into the zone controlled by the Ukrainian army.” said the chief of staff. He added that the Shtorm soldiers had been deployed in the ATO zone, particularly in Luhansk oblast, for four months. Melnyk spent 32 days there, in the towns of Novy Aidar, Lutuhyne, Heorhiivka, Shchastia, Starobilsk and Svatove.
“In terms of how the population feels…the situation is somewhat ambiguous. People are angry at everyone; there’s no clear distinction – who is for and who is against Ukraine. People are just mad at the ongoing war. Any person wearing a uniform and bearing arms is seen as a potential threat, as someone who is the cause of their suffering, their difficulties and problems, their life under permanent shelling. They just want peace. It’s not important to them who will bring this peace.” explained Melnyk.
He noted that it is the residents of Shchastia who display the most pro-Ukrainian sentiments.
He also reported that four Shtorm soldiers had been killed in ATO operations in four months; 15 were wounded, three of them seriously.