The mayor of Kharkov told how he managed to avoid the “Kharkov People’s Republic”

Irina Pogorelaya13:57, 11.02.23

Terekhov also spoke about how the Russians came to Kharkiv until 2014, as to their home.

Until 2014, for Russians from Belgorod and Kursk, Kharkov was a “weekend club”, since prices here were lower than in the Russian Federation, and services were of better quality – they had never seen anything like it.

Igor Terekhov, the mayor of Kharkiv, spoke about this in an interview with the BBC . The publication noted that for Terekhov – Russian by nationality – the start of the war with the Russian Federation was a big surprise.

According to the Kharkiv mayor, there were many cars with Russian numbers in the city, Russians stayed in hotels, had a good time, and no one divided people by nationality.

A critical moment in the history of the city was the events of spring 2014, when the pro-Russian activists of Kharkiv tried to proclaim the “Kharkov People’s Republic”.

Terekhov recalled that in 2014, pro-Russian sentiment in Kharkiv was huge, especially among young people, and after the city government came out “for the Ukrainian city”, its ratings fell.

“It was very difficult, but we survived. And then people saw it,” he commented.

Terekhov explained that the decisive factor that changed the outlook of Kharkiv residents was the subsequent events in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This convinced Kharkiv residents of the correctness of the choice that was made in 2014.

“People understood what horror could be in Kharkiv. It is clear that our ratings went up. But people have changed. People understand that we should be part of the democratic world. And this is very important,” Terekhov stressed.

The remaining goodwill towards the Russian Federation and its citizens among Kharkiv residents was finished off by the Russian full-scale invasion, which came as a surprise to most of the locals, including the mayor.

As Terekhov noted, at present, sympathies in the city are divided approximately as follows: 95% are pro-Ukrainian, 5% are pro-Russian. “Now we are more radical than people in western Ukraine,” said the Kharkiv mayor.

The situation in the Kharkiv region

Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion, Russian troops have not abandoned their attempts to occupy Kharkov and the region. However, they didn’t succeed. And the remnants of the invaders were squeezed out of the Kharkiv region in the fall of 2022. 

However, after that, the Russians mercilessly shell the region. So, on February 5 and 7, the occupiers hit the center of Kharkov, as a result of which the building of the university was destroyed, several people were injured.

And on February 9, the invaders massively fired on the border settlements of Chuguevsky, Kupyansky and Kharkov regions of the region. At least 23 settlements were under enemy fire  , as a result of which two people were killed and five more were injured.

(C)UNIAN 2023

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