Last week I was embedded with the Russian army and visited two towns in southeastern Ukraine. The first town was called Henichesk, a port city along the Sea of Azov in Kherson Oblast (province) of southern Ukraine, bordering on Crimea.
The Russian army, patrolling the city, went with us—the embedded journalists—for protection. But actually the protection was not really needed; the people in Henichesk, at least the majority with whom I spoke, were very happy that the Russian army was there.
The people that I spoke to all said the same thing: They felt protected from the criminal gangs, with their Nazi ideology, who raged the towns. They in turn hoped that Ukraine will prosper again.
Since the coup d’état of 2014, the economy of Ukraine has become very bad, according to many citizens in Henichesk.
I could see that people were standing in line to get money from ATM machines outside the banks, money which was barely there.
At the market, the food was scarce. The Russian army is providing humanitarian aid, which they do in every village and town, liberated from these criminal gangs. This is how many Ukrainians call them.