Ukrainians of occupied towns protest against Russian invaders, undermining “liberator” narrative

Ukrainians protest Russian invasion

Protestor waving the Ukrainian flag on a rooftop above the Ukrainian rally against the Russian occupation in temporarily occupied Nova Kakhovka, Zaporizhia Oblast. 6 March 2022. Screenshot: Social media 

Russian Aggression

In a remarkable show of civic resistance, Ukrainians protest the Russian invasion of their towns, despite the threat of injury and death. The obvious show of pro-Ukrainian sentiments is creating serious problems for Russia’s narrative of a supposed “liberation” of Ukrainian lands from “fascists,” as the locals clearly reject the Russian invaders and display loyalty to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been resisting the Russian invasion for almost two weeks. As Russia has been obliterating many Ukrainian cities where it faced military resistance, including Mariupol, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, the cities it managed to occupy in the first days of war continue peaceful protests against the Russian occupation.

For several days now, starting from 5 March, Ukrainian civilians are taking to the streets of Russian-occupied cities and towns. The unarmed citizens keep protesting under Ukrainian flags to show that the Russian troops aren’t welcome in Ukraine despite at least two cases when Putin’s soldiers opened fire on the protesters, killing one and wounding several more people.

The anti-occupation rallies have been taking place in the oblasts of Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, earlier considered rather pro-Russian by many in Ukraine. Now, with incredible bravery, the unarmed locals show the unity of these regions with the rest of the country.

The Russians are unable to control even those cities, from which they have temporarily driven out Ukraine’s Armed Forces, believes Viktor Trehubov, co-founder of Ukrainian party Demsokyra:

“It was planned that control there would be secured by the Rosgvardia and the newly created administrations of collaborators. The Rosgvardia was knocked out [in battles] and there were simply no collaborators in most cities, so [the Russians] are well aware that they may be easily killed there at night. So the situation is an idiotic stalemate. There seem to be Russian troops in the city, but no Russian control,” Mr. Trehobov wrote.

Kherson Oblast

Kherson

On 5 March, the residents of the regional capital city of Kherson gathered a large crowd to show the invaders that Kherson is a Ukrainian city and the Russian troops aren’t welcome there:

The Russian soldiers opened fire into the air in order to disperse the crowd, however, the protesters didn’t flee:

Under the protesters’ pressure, the Russian troops had to leave the city center, while one local climbed atop the Russian armored vehicle carrying the Ukrainian flag:

On the next day, Khersoners marched along their streets again protesting against the Russian occupation:

And 8 March saw another Ukrainian protest in Kherson:

Nova Kakhovka

On 6 March, thousands rallied in Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast, against the Russian occupation:

The occupation forces tried to disperse the protesters with tear-gas grenades and shots into the air:

https://twitter.com/olehbatkovych/status/1500480035408556041

Then the Russian troops opened fire on the crowd, killing one and wounding seven more Ukrainians:

Oleshky

On 8 March, local residents marched through the town of Oleshky, Kherson Oblast, carrying Ukrainian flags and singing Ukrainian songs:

…and chanting “Oleshky is Ukraine”:

Hola Prystan

The town of Hola Prystan, Kherson Oblast, saw an anti-occupation protest on 8 March:

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1501146761758453765

Chaplynka

On 7 March Ukrainians protested against the Russian occupation in the town of Chaplynka, Kherson Oblast, just about 15 kilometers from the administrative border of Crimea. Protesters shouted “Go home!” to the invaders:

The Russian troops were shooting into the sky trying to disperse the rally:

On 8 March, Ukrainian also protested in Beryslav and Nyzhni Sirohozy, Kherson Oblast.

Novooleskiivka, Chonhar

On 6 March, at another entrance to Crimea, the locals of the villages Novooleksiivka and Chonhar, Kherson Oblast, protested under Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar flags against the Russian invasion:

Chervona Polyana and Novyi Hai

Villagers of Chervona Polyana and Novyi Hai, two neighboring villages in Kherson Oblast, gathered their rally on 8 March:

Kalanchak

On 6 March, the residents of Kalanchak, Kherson Oblast, rallied against the Russian occupation:

Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Berdyansk

The port city of Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, also saw a number of anti-occupation rallies lately.

On 5 March, Berdyanskers gathered on the central square to oppose the Russian occupation:

People gathered on 6 March as well:

Another rally in occupied Berdyansk took place on 8 March:

Melitopol

On 5 March, Ukrainians rallied against the Russian occupation in Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast:

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1500110993401204745

A video captured an unarmed protester fearlessly walking towards Russian assault-riflemen and urging them to go home:

Luhansk Oblast

Bilokurakyne

The Ukrainian protest took place in Bilokurakyne, Luhansk Oblast, on 5 March:

The protesters were singing the Ukrainian anthem in front of the armed Russian troops:

Novopskov

In the town of Novopskov in the northern part of Luhansk Oblast, local residents rallied in front of the Russian troops on 5 March as the Russian soldiers opened fire on the protesters:

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1500157237339250691

Three men received gunshot wounds, one was beaten, according to local authorities.

Starobilsk

On 6 March, the Starobilsk protesters replaced the flag of the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” raised by the Russian troops near the local government building with the Ukrainian flag:

Svatove

On 8 March, Russian troops entered Svatove, Luhansk Oblast. The video shows local residents waving the Ukrainian flag while listening to a Russian soldier who threatens the protesters with opening fire:

Unleashing the war on the Ukrainian people Putin believed that Ukrainians would welcome the Russian troops, but Ukrainians united in the face of the Russian aggression. The Ukrainian army keeps fighting, civil volunteers are helping the army and civilians, while the residents of the occupied cities resist peacefully against the Russian occupation.

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