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24 Jul, 2022 19:49 

HomeRussia & FSU

Ukrainian governor ‘suspects everybody’ of helping Russia

The governor of Nikolayev wants to put the city into lockdown to hunt for alleged spies and saboteurs

Vitaliy Kim speaks to press in Nikolayev, Ukraine on June 10, 2022. © AFP / Genya Savilov

The southwestern Ukrainian city of Nikolayev is set to be put into a full lockdown in the coming days, governor Vitaliy Kim has revealed. The extreme measure is needed to catch alleged spies and saboteurs believed to be colluding with Russia, he told The Telegraph in an interview.

So far, the city’s authorities and the military have detained twelve individuals believed to be working for Russia amid the ongoing conflict, Kim revealed. Asked about the numbers of alleged “spies,” the governor admitted he suspects literally everybody in the city of being a traitor.

“I suspect everybody,” Kim stated, adding that he has a “hidden strategy” to uncover and catch the purported spies.

READ MORE: National security chief fired in Ukraine

In order to remain strong in the face of Russian forces one needs to keep “a clear head as well as a heated heart,” the official asserted. The remark came as an apparent nod to a saying, commonly attributed to Bolshevik revolutionary and the head of early Soviet state security bodies, Felix Dzerzhinsky, that a true security agent should have “clear head, heated heart and clean hands.” The latter, apparently, does not apply to Ukrainian spy-hunters.

Earlier this week, Kim announced a $100 bounty for tips about alleged saboteurs and spies. The compensation will come in exchange for information on “those who reveal to the occupiers the places of deployment of Ukrainian troops,” he said, adding that the $100 tip will be paid only for credible reports.

Multiple Ukrainian officials have repeatedly sounded alarm over allegedly rampant “collaboration” and “treason” among the country’s citizens and employees of security agencies. The issue led to the downfall of Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and the head of the country’s top security agency, Ivan Bakanov. The two officials were fired during the week by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who said that “some 651 criminal cases have been registered on high treason and collaboration activities of employees of the prosecutor’s office, pre-trial investigation bodies, and other law enforcement agencies.”

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