The Kremlin has sent “a whole battalion of propagandists” to Melitopol in an attempt to “brainwash” people into believing Russia is rebuilding the occupied city and improving living conditions.

According to the city’s Ukrainian mayor, Ivan Fedorov, the so-called journalists have already spread fake stories about the building of a new maternity hospital that was actually built in 2021, and the new renovating of a sports school that was actually undertaken in 2017.

“They are printing nearly all newspapers which used to be published before February 24, 2022,” he told Ukrainian TV.

“They only replaced letters with their ‘Z’ and ‘V’ symbols, and are trying to spread their propaganda that way.”

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“They brought a large number of the so-called journalists from continental Russia, who are running around Melitopol and talking about good living conditions under occupation, mistaking the wish for the reality.”

Fedorov said the propagandists had even created a fake union of journalists but stressed that no Ukrainian media professionals who used to work in Melitopol prior to the Russian full-scale invasion agreed to collaborate with the enemy.

He added that the target audience for the news reports are those in Russia.

“A whole ‘battalion’ of propagandists trying to brainwash people, but they are mostly focused on those who live in Russia.”

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Ukrainian Navy says there are no safe locations left for Russian warships in or around Crimea. One Kremlin combat vessel out of range in the Mediterranean with eight Kalibr missiles.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian intelligence said that a “resistance movement” in the occupied city of Melitopol damaged an enemy fuel tanker and “killed several Russian occupiers” on Friday.

Melitopol, with a pre-war population of around 150,000 people, was captured early after Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year and now lies some dozens of miles behind the frontline further north.

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