Partisans operating in the Ukrainian southern city of Melitopol have killed at least 70 Russian Federation (RF) soldiers, as authorities have begun operating a black detention site in the occupied city of Kherson, and launched press gangs across the Donbas region to dragoon local residents into RF fighting units, official Ukrainian sources and officials claimed April 14.

A public statement by the Zaporizhzhia regional defense command stated that between March 20 and April 12 “around” 70 RF service personnel died at the hands of partisans operating in Melitopol. Russian armored columns overran the town on Feb. 25, the second day of the war.

Resistance fighters in the seaside resort have, the statement said, targeted primarily night-time security patrols operated by RF occupation authorities. In most cases, the guerrillas have used ambush tactics, small arms and knives at times, the statement said. The Zaporizhzhia defense command is also aware of incidents of privately-owned automobiles marked with the pro-Russia “Z” letter being fired on or burned by unknown persons, and RF-operated road checkpoints being attacked, though it’s uncIear whether that was the work of partisans or just pro-Ukraine Melitopol residents, the statement said.


Lyudmyla Denisova, human rights ombudsman for the Ukrainian Parliament, in a Thursday statement accused RF occupying authorities in the southern city of Kherson of operating a “black”, or unacknowledged, detention facility for holding kidnapped and tortured Kherson residents suspected of partisan activity, or even of just disloyalty to the RF authorities in Kherson. Currently facility staff are holding and interrogating 137 persons, among them four journalists, and not only blocking family member and lawyer access, but denying the fact that people are even in detention there, Denisova said.

Kherson, which has been under RF occupation since the fourth day of the war, has seen dozens of public demonstrations against Kremlin occupation. RF authorities have struggled to establish control over the city, and public unwillingness to follow instructions issued by an RF-appointed city government is widespread, according to news reports and social media accounts.


Denisova claimed that the refusal of city workers to collaborate with RF authorities has prevented much-needed repairs of infrastructure, which was damaged when RF forces captured the city, which is a hub for the region’s public utilities and transportation networks. She added that at present 106 villages and localities in occupied sectors of Kherson Region are totally without electricity, and food and medicine supplies are now at dangerously low levels. She accused RF troops of systematically looting drug stores across the region for medical supplies, baby food and diapers.

A Thursday morning situation report issued by Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) said that across the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions RF press gangs are seeking out men aged 18-60 on the streets, and forcing them to sign up for service in RF army units, or auxiliary forces.

According to the report, RF high command has ordered occupation authorities to force, by whatever means necessary, at least 60-70,000 men from Donetsk and Luhansk Regions into military service. Public enthusiasm to do so is next to nil, and only by using threats and force have press gangs managed to deliver 6,000-7,000 men to recruitment centers thus far, the statement said. Widespread independent media reports, including observation by the KP, generally confirm the AGS claims about the existence of RF press gangs.



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