Ukrainian civilians – inspired by ‘The Matrix’ – hunt for Russian ‘saboteurs’ in Kyiv

KYIV, Ukraine – In this besieged city everyone has become Neo.

Ukrainian civilians are on a mission to spot Russian intruders and “saboteurs” in the barren streets of Kyiv – and are drawing inspiration from American films like “The Matrix” as they come in person. Hunt down spies who could be enemies.

“We have a lot of provocateurs in the city, and yesterday I had two of them arrested on the street,” said Victoria Kramarenko, 55, a nurse and longtime ambulance volunteer for the hospital. know.

Vandal detection has become a serious problem, and authorities are encouraging people to participate in the New York MTA-type “see something, say something” campaign that began after the incident. 9/11 terrorist attack.

Kramarenko said she first noticed suspicious figures lurking around town a few months ago, when she saw an unusual gathering in the downtown area and called the police.

“We see them every few blocks in the downtown area, and they specifically track the movement of ambulances or areas with a lot of assault rifles,” she continued. “Now, there are a lot of them. They are like cockroaches that are spreading.”

Kramarenko said the saboteurs appeared to identify target points and then passionately tap on a smartphone or tablet, and then “it was only a matter of time before a shelling took place. “.

Ukrainian civilians patrol the streets with guns.
Vandals appear to identify target points in the city and enter a moment on a smartphone before shelling hits the area.
Hollie McKay

With a listless expression, she recounted how she once saw a lost-looking man typing something on her phone, so she personally approached and questioned him.

“Often you can recognize them because they have a distinctive Russian accent, indicating they come from (the self-proclaimed republics) of the Donetsk or Luhansk provinces or with a Russian accent,” Kramarenko commented. “Many Ukrainians speak Russian, but with different accents.”

The nurse even credits Keanu Reeves’ blockbuster “The Matrix,” which teaches her to operate in a world where things aren’t quite what they seem.

However, she’s not the only one whose life has turned into a feature film.

Another civilian soldier guarding a residential area explained with a smug smile that the “Jason Bourne” movies have been on reruns since January, when the threat of invasion grew.

Map of Russian attacks in Ukraine as of Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
Map of Russian attacks in Ukraine as of Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

A Ukrainian computer programmer named Tatiana, records her favorite childhood sci-fi movie “The Fifth Element” – a movie starring Ukrainian-born actress Milla Jovovich – giving her the impetus she needed to take to the streets if foot soldiers arrived.

Meanwhile, Kramarenko urged those with yards to take extra precautions as vandals are identifying these areas as places where they can enter by military means.

“In other cities, we have seen Russian forces try to control and control the courtyards as a base,” Kramarenko warned, adding that the best radar is simply intuition. each person.

Andriy Liakhovych, military coordinator of the newly appointed Office of the President between the Ukrainian army, the Territorial Defense Forces and volunteer fighters, concurs that after eight years of protracted conflict, many Ukrainians have lost their lives. know what’s wrong.

“Especially in the present time, if a person asks too many questions, is too curious or cannot understand their opinion in the local environment, then it is best to be cautious,” he asserts. .

Usually, authorities stress, vandalism suspects move in pairs.

However, concerns about the safety of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remain high. Officially, around 400 Russian mercenaries have entered the Kyiv region in recent weeks with the number one goal of assassinating the world-famous commander-in-chief.

“They (the vandals) are everywhere; We know that. They’ve been here for five or six years. But those who came here to destroy our president, their plans have been destroyed,” said a senior presidential official, who asked not to be named, before pointing out that many were from Chechnya and were now standing. behind bars.

Ukrainian civilians forced into action compare the experience to action movies like “The Matrix” and the Jason Borne series.
Hollie McKay

From his point of view, if a Ukrainian sees something suspicious, they should ask that person something in Ukrainian, perhaps something very specific to their national heritage.

However, that 400 figure seems to be a fraction of those who have reached Ukraine, mainly through breakaway regions in eastern Donbas Oblast or neighboring Belarus.

Get the latest information update in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict with live coverage of The Post.

Intelligence estimates suggest that up to 4,000 such pro-Russian special forces are stationed in Ukraine, potentially preparing for an all-out assault on Kyiv in the coming days.

Adding to the confusion of outside intrusion were the red symbols painted on buildings and roads, heavily concentrated in the capital. In stark contrast to the Luftwaffe during World War II, these were thought to have been targets for Moscow’s air raids, emitting a guided light for missiles.

“Those target indicators we see not only on the roads but also on the rooftops. They put some kind of purple light there, or maybe they just sprinkled some powder, so it’s reflected. We have noticed this since the first day of the war,” noted Kramarenko.

The streets of Kiyv are quiet despite the escalation of Russian tensions.
The Kyiv government is encouraging everyone to take part in the “see something, say something” campaign.
Hollie McKay

Liakhovych noted that the appearance of suspicious signs coincided with the invasion of full throttle about a week ago.

Many of these plainclothes mercenary operations are believed to be directed by a pro-Russian paramilitary group known as the Wagner Group, with covert operations extending from Syria to Libya, the Central African Republic to Crimea. Founded by Russian veteran Dmitry Valeryevich in 2014, the outfit is named after Hitler’s favorite composer, Richard Wagner, as well as the calling sign of his retired brigade commander .

Kyiv officials also stressed that people with ties to Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of Ukraine’s most prominent Kremlin-friendly party, also played a role in orchestrating sabotage activities. Authorities confirmed that Medgonchuk escaped from house arrest on Sunday.

While no one can predict what will happen to Kyiv in the coming days as a large convoy of Russian troops and tanks advances, I have yet to meet anyone willing to surrender their beloved city. .

“We are using the internet, and we are all making Molotov cocktails. Grannies are also training and making cocktails. We are all ready to throw them at the Russians if they come,” Kramarenko added with grave composure. “I could have imagined everything except attacks on residential buildings; This is not what I thought would happen in my country. War may be for men, but it is not for women and children.” Ukrainian civilians – inspired by ‘The Matrix’ – hunt for Russian ‘saboteurs’ in Kyiv


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