Russia is terrorising Ukrainians in occupied Melitopol. In particular, Russian propagandists filmed a video in which occupiers in balaclavas with weapons jump over fences, knock down doors, grab people and take them out of their homes in handcuffs. The propaganda then films the so-called confessions of the prisoners. It is now known that the administrators of the RIA-Melitopol and Melitopol is Ukraine Telegram channels have been abducted and accused of terrorism.

This was reported by the RIA-Melitopol Telegram channel. 

Employees of the telegram channels RIA-Melitopol and Melitopol is Ukraine were kidnapped and arrested on 20 August. 

“On the same day, Russian terrorists hijacked the old Ukrainian telegram channel RIA-Melitopol and its chats. For more than two months, there was no information about their whereabouts… Among the prisoners, there is even a 19-year-old girl and a guy with schizophrenia,” the statement said.

After the hijacking of the channel, the newsroom created a new one and continues to work. 

Under pressure from FSB investigators, 19-year-old Yana Suvorova confessed that she had been transmitting data on the movement of equipment.

Screenshot from a video by Russian propagandists

Mark Kaliush, a young man with schizophrenia, is also being held captive, and he is reciting a memorised text on camera that he was photographing military targets, transmitting data on the movement of military equipment, and carrying an explosive device.

Screenshot from the video by Russian propagandists

The video includes: Alexander Malyshev, Heorhiy Levchenko, Maksym Rupchev, Yana Suvorova and Mark Kaliush

“About 500 Melitopol residents are in captivity today. And these are only official figures. Nobody knows how many there really are. Because relatives of some of the missing people have been intimidated so that they do not even provide information to the Ukrainian special services and the Ombudsman,” said Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov. 

Earlier, Slidstvo.Info journalists presented the film Occupation: The Price of a Word about Ukrainian journalists who were occupied during the war and suffered violence from the Russian military because of their work: they were killed or abducted, taken prisoner or tortured. The film includes the stories of Kherson-based journalist Oleh Baturin, Melitopol-based journalist Svitlana Zalizetska, Kyiv-based journalist Dmytro Khyliuk, Nova Kakhovka-based journalist Oleksandr Hunko, and photojournalist Max Levin, who was killed by Russians. All of them suffered at the hands of Russians because they tried to tell the truth about the war despite difficult circumstances.

Slidstvo.Info has collected evidence of the systematic nature of Russia’s crimes against Ukrainian journalists, who are not accidental victims of the war, but targets of the Russians.