Our Association has repeatedly reported on the aggressor’s attempts to involve Crimean collaborators in the formation of the occupation “order” in the south of mainland Ukraine. In particular, it was pointed out that the occupiers imitated the formation of “Cossack associations” as de facto auxiliary structures of the aggressor to terror the civilian population.

Currently, the occupiers’ propaganda reports that in Melitopol the aggressor has formed a fake “Cossack squad” led by “ataman” Igor Lysenko, which will allegedly “help maintain law and order” to Russia’s invaders.

Lysenko is one of Melitopol’s most odious collaborators, directly linked with the occupied Crimea. For many years, the former military man played the role of “head of the Melitopol smokehouse of the Cossack units of the Zaporozhian downland squads” on behalf of the Russian special services.

The exploitation of the Ukrainian Cossacks’ theme did not prevent Lysenko and his few associates from participating until 2014 in the struggle between local criminal groups and in the activities of planting “Russian world” in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, under the guise of so-called “protection of Orthodox shrines on the peninsula”.

After 2014, Oleksandr Panchenko, the head of the “Cossack” structure to which Lysenko belonged, was included in the lists of the “Peacemaker” website for assisting Russian invaders in capturing Crimea.

By 2022, Lysenko himself had unsuccessfully tried to “gain the trust” of the Ukrainian police and border guards to form a “people’s squad securing public order”.

However, his several marginal Melitopol “Cossacks” until 2022 did not constitute any social significance. That is why the Crimean “sent Cossacks” are currently playing a key role in Lysenko’s fake “squad” in Melitopol.