Ukrainians cooperating with Russia risk long prison sentences. In the area around Kharkiv alone, close to 400 suspected collaborators have been detained since the invasion began.Published: 30 April 2022, 11:09Viktor seemed nervous when police from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) stormed the apartment in Kharkiv wearing riot gear.The middle-aged man had, according to authorities, published pro-Russian posts. He is said to have praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his “fight against the Nazis” and called on certain regions to declare independence from Ukraine. “Yes, I really supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I’m sorry. I have already changed, “says Viktor.” Pick up your things and get dressed, one of the policemen answers. ” Viktor is one of nearly 400 people arrested around Kharkiv on suspicion of collaborating with Russia since the invasion began on February 24. Anyone found guilty of, for example, denying Russian aggression or helping Moscow can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. . If the action has resulted in Ukrainian deaths, the punishment could be life. “Taking responsibility for collaboration is inevitable and whether it happens tomorrow or later is another matter,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “The important thing is that justice will inevitably be imposed.”Despite the government in Kyiv enjoys broad popular support even among Russian-speakers there are Ukrainian citizens who do not oppose the Russian invasion. Among the inhabitants of the eastern Donbass region, support for Moscow is relatively widespread. Even before the invasion, the eight-year war had claimed more than 14,000 victims. Since the war began, some businessmen, civil servants and military personnel have moved to the Russian side. Ukrainian authorities, for their part, have launched more than 200 investigations into suspected links to the invading forces. A list of collaborators is currently being compiled, which will be published soon, according to Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council. arrested, according to human rights organizations. But no exact figure can be obtained. “There are no comprehensive statistics for the whole country because everything has been classified by the SBU,” said Volodymyr Yavorskyj of the Center for Civil Rights, one of the leading human rights organizations in Ukraine. detained for 30 days without a court order under the anti-terrorism laws that apply as a result of the war. The laws also mean that the defense lawyers of the detainees do not need to be informed that their clients have been detained. The Government of Ukraine is Aware of the potential effects of detaining people for their views, which, among other things, risks strengthening Moscow propaganda about the oppression of Russian-speaking Ukrainians. “The debate on the balance between national security and freedom of expression is ongoing,” said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. which has become a symbol of the horrific atrocities committed in the war, collaborators provided the Russian forces with the names and addresses of pro-Ukrainian activists and government officials, according to Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk. “I saw death lists compiled with the help of traitors. The Russians knew who to look for, at what address and who lived there, “he says.” Of course, Ukrainian authorities will look for these people and punish them. “TT
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