Accused collaborator Galina Danilchenko, who was installed as Melitopol mayor by the Russian occupation, on August 22, 2022
In occupied parts of Ukraine, some locals decided to side with the Russians.
Unable to get far before the war, they’ve gained power and as part of the occupation.
But being a collaborator is a dangerous business — and some have a price on their heads.
Galina Danilchenko, the “mayor” of Russian-occupied Melitopol, is trapped.
Around half the city has fled since Russia occupied the city in February, according to its elected mayor, Ivan Fedorov. Melitopol-related Telegram channels are peppered with posts advertising dangerous car rides out of there.
But unlike most Ukrainians living under Russian military rule, Danilchenko’s cage is of her own making.
On March 12, Fedorov was snatched off the streets by Russian soldiers, and Danilchenko, a local politician with long-held pro-Russian views, declared herself mayor in his place.
According to RIA-Melitopol, a local news site with strongly partisan leanings, a bomb scare in May prompted her to offer her resignation. But the Russian military administration told her that the only way out is to give herself up to the Ukrainian Secret Service, the outlet reported.
Despite Russia’s control of much of the Zaporizhzhia region, it’s not a good time to be a collaborator.
While Ukraine’s army retakes large swathes of the country in the north-east, partisan fighters in the occupied south are waging guerrilla attacks on anyone who aids Russia — including fellow Ukrainians like Danilchenko.
Since mid-May, at least 11 pro-Russian collaborators have met messy fates — some of them fatal, not all of them formally claimed by Ukraine.
But in August alone, they featured car bombs, a suspected poisoning, and a deputy mayor shot dead just outside his home.
On August 5, both Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Vladimir Saldo …read more
Source:: Business Insider