Russia Plans to Publicly Execute Captured Ukrainian Mayors, Captured Military Officers on State Television
Unless he is somehow rescued by Ukraine Army troops, you may expect mayors to be tried and publicly executed to intimidate the population
March 14, 2022
Update: The Russian army released Ivan Federov in exchange for 9 captured soldiers, on March 15, 2022.
When Russian soldiers put a hood on the Mayor of Melitopol, Ukraine last week, and led him away to jail, probably few would have believed that this would be the lead up to a public execution. After all, Russia is a modern country which has hosted public demonstrations agains the war (albeit with the protestors being detained in Russian cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg). There are limits to what the public would be expected to witness in 2022, right?
Guess again. "With discussions about the death penalty, potential hangings and not letting morality stand in the way, Russian state TV is obviously working to desensitize the public for the upcoming atrocities in Ukraine. Case in point, this clip from Sunday's show (warning: sensitive content)." tweeted Julia Davis.
Melitopol mayor Ivan Federov, himself an ethnic Russian, was lead away with a sack over his head, by invading Russian armed forces on March 10, 2022. He has not been seen since. The Russians replaced him with a pro Russian politician. Citizens of Melitopol have protested against the arrest. Unless he is somehow rescued by Ukraine Army troops, you may expect Federov to be tried and publicly executed to intimidate the local population, sometime this summer.
Russia has used execution as a means of solidifying political power before, although not recently. During the Great Purge or the Great Terror, tens of thousands of people were executed by Joseph Stalin during the 1930's. The purge was Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin's campaign to solidify his power over the party and nation; the purges were also designed to remove the remaining influence of Leon Trotsky as well as other political rivals within the party. It occurred from August 1936 to March 1938.
Many Russians these days look back on the Soviet era as the "good old days," and long for a return to the period of perceived Russian greatness.