Ukrainian mayor defects

Ukrainian mayor defects

The Kiev-appointed mayor of Sviatogorsk, Vladimir Bandura, has switched his allegiance to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) following the town's liberation from Ukrainian forces.

The official appeared in a video last week, accusing Kiev's military of murdering Orthodox monks and setting a monastery ablaze.

In a Telegram post on Monday, the president of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, revealed that he had “long been in touch” with Bandura, adding that the mayor “was waiting, just like many Sviatogorsk residents, for the liberation, and supports the special military operation.”

The DPR president accompanied his post with a photo, depicting him and Bandura, sitting at a table.

Pushilin explained that “for obvious reasons” the mayor “had to keep his stance secret,” so as to “save the people.”

The DPR leader went on to announce that he had decided to reinstate Bandura as the mayor of Sviatogorsk, which, according to him, has been taken over by the DPR and Russian forces.

After Ukrainian troops retreated from Svyatogorsk earlier this month, several of the country’s media outlets initially reported that the town’s mayor had been captured by Russian forces.

On June 7, a video with Bandura was released and subsequently cited by the Russian media, in which the official leveled some damning accusations at the Ukrainian armed forces. The mayor claimed, among other things, that there was “information, confirmed information, that the Nazis are killing priests and monks and concealing these facts.” On top of that, Bandura alleged that Ukrainian troops had set fire to an Orthodox monastery in Svyatogorsk.

Soon thereafter, Ukrainian authorities launched an investigation into the mayor, saying the official was “discrediting the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the state,” and spreading a “Russian fake.”

The blaze, which Bandura referred to in his video, engulfed the Skete of All Saints on June 4. The area was still under Ukrainian control at the time, though heavy fighting had been taking place there for several days already, according to media reports.

Moscow and Kiev were quick to point the finger at each other. A Ukrainian officer with the 95th Airborne Assault Brigade, Yuri Kochevenko, described the fire as a “crime” at the hands of “Russian barbarians.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used the occasion to once again demand that Russia be expelled from UNESCO.

The Russian military, in turn, accused Ukrainian units of deliberately firing incendiary rounds at the skete before retreating. Moscow claimed there were eyewitnesses, whose accounts corroborated this version of events.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

Source: www.rt.com

The last notes - Политика

most read news

#Политика

The Ukrainian government has published a blacklist of politicians, pundits and intellectuals whom it accuses of promoting “narratives consonant with Russian propaganda.” Some of those on the list –
подробнее...

Traffic on the Antonovsky Bridge over the Dnepr River in Russia-controlled Kherson Region has been halted after Ukrainian attacks, according to local authorities.The 1366-meter bridge has been bombed
подробнее...

Military-technical cooperation will be on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meet in Sochi. This was the response by Kremlin spokesman
подробнее...

Russia’s armed forces destroyed an ‘elite assault battalion’ of the Ukrainian president and dozens of fighters from the notorious Kraken neo-Nazi formation, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General
подробнее...

The Latvian embassy in Russia announced on Thursday that it had stopped accepting visa applications from Russian citizens “for an indefinite period.” The diplomatic mission said in a tweet that the
подробнее...

The US is considering the matter of recognizing Russia as “a state sponsor of terrorism,” US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink has said, emphasizing that the issue must be carefully analyzed from a
подробнее...

Ukrainian recruits fighting in Donbass are undergoing ten-day intensive training courses led by a group of Western ex-military personnel calling themselves the Mozart Group, The Guardian reported on
подробнее...

In late June, the North Dakota Attorney General approved the purchase of 2,100 acres of farmland by a company tied to Bill Gates. Red River Trust bought it from potato growers Campbell Farms for about
подробнее...

Ukraine has apparently renewed its attempts to destroy the strategically important Antonovsky Bridge over the Dnepr River, according to sources on both sides of the conflict.The latest overnight
подробнее...

Russia says it hit a military target during a Saturday strike on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. The attack came a day after the signing of a UN-brokered deal to unblock grain exports from
подробнее...

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Russia’s southern city of Sochi on Friday. The two leaders spent over four hours discussing a broad range of
подробнее...

Ukrainian combat drones have destroyed cars that were part of a humanitarian convoy in the Russian-held southern city of Energodar early Saturday morning, a local official has said.“The cars had the
подробнее...

Ukraine will soon receive a new batch of military aid, this time from North Macedonia, President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, confirmed on Saturday. According to Macedonian media, the
подробнее...

The date of Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) depends on the technical state of the project and could come at any time after 2024, a high-ranking official of the Russian
подробнее...

Amnesty International said on Friday that it stands by a report in which it accused Kiev of endangering civilians by placing its military assets in schools and residential areas. The investigation
подробнее...

Russia is celebrating Navy Day with a warship parade on the Neva River in St. Petersburg.A total of 40 vessels of different types and more than 3,000 servicemen are slated to participate in the main
подробнее...

CBS News has pulled a documentary and amended a story featuring claims that 70% of foreign weapons never make it to the front lines in Ukraine. The changes were made amid an outcry from the Ukrainian
подробнее...

A Russian crypto entrepreneur accused by the US of laundering billions of dollars has apparently been handed over to American custody by Greece, days after Athens secured his extradition from France.
подробнее...