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The Kremlin Are Forcing Ukrainians to Adopt Russian Life

By: Allison Xu

Recently, the Kremlin has been forcing Ukrainians to adapt to Russian life. They have handed out Russian passports, cell phone numbers, and set top boxes so that Ukrainians could watch Russian television.

After taking control in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Russian forces went out to find pro-Kremlin Ukrainian officials and put them in government positions.

Ukrainian citizens have been experiencing hardships, including scarce amounts of cash and medicine. This was something Russia was trying to do to win an alliance with locals by distributing “humanitarian aid.”

“There’s no money in Kherson, there’s no work in Kherson,” said Andrei, 33, who worked in the service department of a car dealership in the city before the war. “Kherson has returned to the 1990s when only vodka, beer and cigarettes were for sale,” he said.

In an interview late last month, Ihor Kolykhaiev, the mayor of the city of Kherson since 2020, said the Russian propaganda was slowly succeeding in changing the discriminations of some residents. Those residents were mainly pensioners and people with low income

“I think that something is changing in relationships, probably in people’s habits,” said Kolykhaiev, the mayor of the city of Kherson since 2020.

In Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, officials say any votes on merging with Russia or forming a Russian client state in occupied areas would be illegal, riddled with fraud, and do nothing to support land seizures.

However, early in spring, people from Kherson gathered in large groups for protests to challenge Russian troops.

“Our people go out at night and paint Ukrainian flags,” said a man named Andrei. “In yellow and blue letters they paint, ‘we believe in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.’”

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