Russia seizes first major city; mayor tells citizens to follow Russian orders, 6 rules of occupiers

As week one of fighting in Ukraine comes to a close, Russia has seized control of the Ukrainian city of Kherson, making it the first major city to fall into Moscow’s hands.

Kherson, an important port on the Black Sea, is a regional administrative and economic center in the south of Ukraine, with a population of 300,00 people.

In a message on Facebook, Kherson city Mayor Igor Kolykhaiev stated that “armed visitors” were in the city council, imposing a list of rules on Ukrainian citizens.


“These weren’t negotiations or anything that was already rumored about,” Kolykhaiev posted. “No one agreed on anything with me. However, indeed, there were armed visitors in the city council today.”

The mayor stressed that his people are unarmed and peaceful.

“My team and I are peaceful people, we had no weapons or aggression on our side,” Kolykhaiev said. “We have shown that we are working to secure the city and are trying to eliminate the consequences of the invasion. We are experiencing enormous difficulties with collecting and burying the dead, delivering food and medicine, garbage removal, accidents removal, etc.”

The embattled mayor voiced his sorrow over the state of his city.

“Everything that is happening now in our city is politics that I hate,” Kolykhaiev said. “I came to renew infrastructure, invest in Kherson, build houses, roads, parks and a new life for my hometown. As a result, I’m looking for special packages for the killed, putting the whole world on my ears, asking for a ‘green corridor’ and thinking HOW should I now rebuild the city after tanks and BTRs.”

In an earlier post, Kolykhaiev had made an impassioned plea to the world’s media to use the weight of their “fourth power” to help secure a “green corridor” established.


“To the attention of all the media — Kherson, regional, all-Ukrainian, worldwide! All the journalists who know me, who love Kherson, are cheering for his fate, PLEASE use the power of your fourth power and help us get a ‘green corridor’ to transport the wounded and killed, drive to the city of medicine and food… Without all this, the city will die!” Kolykhaiev stated, extending his call for help to world politicians. “Help Kherson to get the opportunity to save his residents from the ongoing humanitarian disaster!”

“I made no promises to the,” he stated regarding Russian demands. “I just have nothing to promise. I am only interested in the normal life of our city! I just asked not to shoot people. We don’t have Ukrainian Armed Forces in the city, only civilians and people who want to LIVE here!”

Mayor Kolykhaiev posted a list of six rules, imposed upon Kherson by the invading forces:

  1. You can only go to the city during the day.
  2. The curfew from 20.00 to 06.00 is strictly observed.
  3. Only cars with food, medicines and other things enter the city.
  4. We will release public transport again so that employees of the bakery, shops, pharmacies, etc. could get to work.
  5. Pedestrians walk one by one, maximum two. The military will not be provoked. Stop at the first demand. They do not conflict.
  6. Cars that are allowed to be in the city, drive at minimum speeds, should be ready to show the contents of the transport at any moment.

He then urged the citizens of Kherson to comply, at least for now.

“So far, this is how it is,” Kolykhaiev stated plainly, adding that the flag of Ukraine still flies above Kherson. “And to keep it the same, these requirements must be met. I have nothing else to offer yet.”

Meanwhile, a video of a Russian soldier surrendering, in a different region, in tears, has gone viral on social media.

The young soldier received comforting words from the women around him, who offer him a hot beverage, a pastry, and a cell phone so that he could let his family in Russia know that he is alive. At the sight of his mother, the POW burst into tears.

It is a kindness that Ukrainian officials do not want to see repeated.

In a statement Wednesday, Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces command warned that, in response to Russia’s “brutal shelling” of cities, they will no longer be taking Russian artillerymen as prisoners of war, according to a report in The Daily Mail. “Each and every gun crew… will be slaughtered like pigs.”

In a video statement, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated, “All the captives say only one thing: they do not know why they are here. Despite the fact that there are dozens of times more than them, the morale of the enemy is contantly deteriorating.”

“These are not warriors of the superpower,” Zelenskyy said. “These are confused children who were used.”

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