Melitopol mayor: Occupiers' "evacuation" going too fast, they may be preparing provocations

Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Melitopol, says that the Russians’ "evacuation" of the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast is happening too quickly, and huge queues have formed at the Chongar checkpoint on the road from Melitopol to Crimea.

Source: Fedorov on air during the national joint 24/7 newscast and on Telegram

Quote: "The partial evacuation they announced is going too fast, and there is a possibility that they may be preparing for provocations and [for that reason - ed.] focusing on civilians."

Details: Recalling the way things happened in Tokmak, Fedorov said that starting on Friday, buses or convoys of buses have been departing from the city once every 20-30 minutes, carrying "only a third of civilians, and the rest are disguised military personnel." According to the mayor, these buses are mostly going to Berdiansk, where the civilians are staying, while military personnel continue to be taken to Mariupol. Also, in Tokmak, there are crazy queues for bread, and most gas stations are out of gasoline.

Fedorov also stated that the "evacuation" is not just taking place in the 16 settlements which the invaders have publicly announced.

"Using the example of my native Melitopol, we can see the following situaiton: since yesterday, buses have been standing on the territory of Gymnasium No.1 and the central Peremohy Square, taking away mostly collaborators and those insane enough to have agreed with the invaders to go somewhere else. Additionally, today, the Russians withdrew from some administrative office buildings. For example, they left Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Street, 70, where their propaganda Z-TV was located, the executive committee of the Melitopol City Council at Hrushevskyi Street, 5, and other administrative buildings, burning all the documents there," the mayor said.

At the same time, on Telegram, he posted a photo of queues at the Chongar checkpoint on the way from occupied Melitopol to Crimea.

"The occupiers played their part in the 'evacuation': they provoked much panic and just as many queues... The military and holders of special passes are out of line. Trucks with looted goods come in a separate queue. Moreover, thousands of cars must wait at least 5 hours," he wrote.

Background: On 5 May, Yevgeny Balitsky, the Russian-appointed "head" of occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast, announced a partial evacuation of the local residents from 18 frontline settlements:Tymoshivka, Smyrnivka, Tarasivka, Orlianske, Molochansk, Kuibysheve, Pryshyb, Tokmak, Mala Bilozerka, Vasylivka, Velyka Bilozerka, Dniprorudne, Mykhailivka, Kamianka-Dniprovska, Enerhodar, Polohy, Kinski Rozdory and Rozivka.

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