The mayors of two towns in Kharkiv Region are suspected of treason for offering assistance and cooperating with invading Russian forces. Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency, the Security Service of Ukraine, said on Telegram that the mayor of the district capital of Kupyansk in the eastern region, 40 kilometers from Russia, is suspected of surrendering the city to Moscow.

An important railroad junction, Kupyansk is in the north-eastern part of the region and its mayor, Hennadiy Matsehor, was elected in 2020 on the pro-Russian party ticket of Opposition Bloc-For Life.

On Feb. 27, according to the country’s chief prosecutor, Iryna Venediktova, the mayor reached out to the military command of Russia and “provided military personnel of many Russian forces with housing, fuel and food for their entire duration there.”


Another Kharkiv regional mayor is suspected of treason. Pivdenniy Mayor Oleksandr Briukhanov was detained on Feb. 28.

Kharkiv governor Oleh Synyehubov said the suspect, “his deputy, the head of the local regional police department and the district inspector were detained under the Article on Treason.”

He added that “this is for the understanding of those who allow themselves to negotiate with the enemy…We will not permit the giving up of an inch of our land.”

When Russia initially invaded Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and the Donbas territories in 2014, many personnel in the military, government, security and law-enforcement in those areas switched over to the invading side. This enabled a swift occupation of 7.2 percent of Ukraine’s territory.

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