Melitopol: security tensions, caution of the inhabitants

Woman under a Russian flag in a square in Melitopol, November 25, 2022. © ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO / REUTERS

Text by: Anissa El Jabri Follow

2 mins

Acts of sabotage and targeted assassinations targeting Russian and pro-Russian authorities have increased in recent months in southern Ukraine, annexed by Russia almost three months ago and which kyiv has vowed to resume.

In Melitopol, the security situation is seriously strained.

In the city now reigns a strange climate, and everyone measures his word.


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From our special correspondent in Melitopol, 

Many equipped and armed soldiers in a restaurant for lunch, some putting their high-precision rifles next to their plate.

Here the menu is to be paid in rubles.

In this establishment, we have already made a clean sweep of the Ukrainian currency.

It will be withdrawn from circulation on January 1.

The statue of Lenin, proudly installed by the Russian authorities, a little over a month ago, was smeared with red paint this Saturday.

Ah, but that's what youth is,

" laughs an old lady.

Our young people who walk around worry about the monuments


But the real problem for me is the prices.

To my son who lives far away, I say

"I survive"


Eggs cost 110 or 120


Last week they were at 80 or 85. And milk is very expensive too.


At 90, this grandmother says she is also not interested in the current street name changes.

More names of personalities considered by heroes in kyiv, for her it does not matter.

It's a political question


Behind her, a woman who also leaves the supermarket, weighs her words.


This is a serious question, a political question.

You understand what our situation is.

We are worried about many things, but not everyone can talk about it.

Some worry about prices, patriots worry about something else.

Because the power has changed here.

Each segment of society has its own priorities and experiences

 ,” she explains.

Since this summer there has been talk of a Ukrainian attack on the key city of Melitopol.

Recent events in the city have rekindled rumors of a fourth Ukrainian counter-offensive that would cut Crimean supply lines and bring down the Russian front along the Sea of ​​Azov.

On December 10, a strike claimed by Kiev hit a "

recreation center

", say local authorities who reported two deaths.

On December 12, an " 

explosive attack 

", says the administration installed by Russia, was perpetrated on one of the piles of the main bridge of the city, which has since been unusable.

In the meantime, in the city, the cars with Russian plates are still there.

►Also read: The areas of Zaporizhia and Kherson fortified by Russian soldiers

The Konstantinovka bridge damaged by an explosion in Melitopol.

© Anissa El Jabri - RFI


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