There is growing fear that Ukrainian journalist Oleh Baturin has been abducted by the Russian soldiers in Kherson Oblast of southern Ukraine, while some other journalists have also expressed concern as what they described, receiving threat from the invader soldiers.
The Institute for Mass Information said that Baturin, who was working for the newspaper Novy Den (New Day), was potentially targeted due to his evidently pro-Ukrainian views and for his harsh criticism against Russia’s invasion.
Baturin, on early 12 March, quoting ominous information from a deputy of the Kherson Regional Council, Serhiy Khlan, had reported that Russia has a plan to stage a pseudo-referendum, similar to those used in occupied Crimea and Donbas in 2014 and to set up a so-called ‘Kherson people’s republic’.
Baturin’s wife said at around 16.00 on 12 March, her husband received a call from an acquaintance who asked him to come and meet him at the petrol station near Journalist House in Kakhovka.
“At around 16.30, he left without taking either his telephone or documents and saying that he would be back in 20 minutes,” Baturin’s wife added.
Meanwhile, another journalist, Iryna Staroselets, Kherson correspondent for Ukrinform said “Russian occupiers” threaten to kill her.
“The Russians are calling me and threatening me. They call me by name and explain what they will do to me,” Staroselets wrote in her Facebook page.
Moreover, the Center for Journalist Investigations had reported that Russian invaders are trying to get deputies of the Kherson Regional Council, trying to get them to collaborate in creating a so-called “Kherson people’s republic.”
They are also proposing such collaboration to heads of territorial communities, proposing that they agree to this and raise the Russian flag, or resign, according to the report.
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