Pontic Greeks in Volnovakha, Donetsk Oblast tell American Youtuber that Ukrainian forces committed atrocities against them on their way out of the city. Allegations of atrocities against civilians by pro-Ukraine forces have also been reported in the Greek media.
Volnovakha is a city of about 20-24k. It is the center of the Pontic Greek community in Ukraine. Most of Ukraine’s 90-100k Pontic Greeks all live in Donetsk Oblast where a war has been going on for nearly eight years.
After retaking this area in 2014, the Ukrainian government stationed state-sponsored hardline militia groups in nearby Mariupol and the surrounding area to keep people from revolting and trying to secede again. America provided weapons and training to these militias, which is public record and not classified.
One of these militias, Aydar, became so notoriously associated with kidnappings and torture that it was officially ordered to disband. However, in reality, the Ukrainian national guard simply re-constituted the group and gave it a more conventional-sounding name, but the members still call themselves Aydar.
Ukraine agreed to remove these militias from the region in the 2015 Minsk Agreement but never did.
On New Year’s Eve, Dec 31st, 2016, South Carolina’s US Senator Lindsey Graham visited this area and urged Ukrainian forces to violate the Minsk agreement and “make 2017 the year of offense.”
Left-wing human rights groups, the government of Canada, and the American Democrat party have denounced these militias for years. Facebook even banned public support of these militias and dubbed them a “violent hate group.” Facebook rescinded this ban when Russia invaded Ukraine.