For the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Kherson region, the Russian occupation is grief, pain, fear, problems, hardships of resettlement or life in the territory occupied by the enemy. But for a very small number of people, the Russian occupation has become, so to speak, a “finest hour”. In particular, it has come for a small, but very “bad-smelling” stratum of Kherson “journalism”.

However, if persons from the regional media community, who have become servants for the occupiers, are called “journalists”, then this should be done only using quotation marks. Because for them, even before the occupation, there were no professional standards or ethical norms. To this one cannot but add hatred for Ukraine, reverence for Russia and pathological nostalgia for the Soviet Union.

And the occupation allowed such “journalists” to turn around in all their “pro-Russian” and Putinophile “glory”. In Kherson, captured by the aggressor, such characters from the local media environment as Gennady Shelestenko, Elena Nekrotkova, Gennady Kabachenko, Oleg Grushko, Tatyana and Vitaly Kamensky, as well as several other persons who are collaborating with the occupiers are not yet so openly chasing to make it obvious.

There are several other “journalists” in Kherson who clearly sympathized with Russia, were nostalgic for the USSR, considered the Revolution of Dignity as “a coup d’état at the behest of foreign curators”, but did not dare to cooperate with the occupiers. They either left the Kherson Region, realizing that collaborationism is a one-way ticket, or they hid for the same reason.

As for the Kherson “journalists”, who have already embarked on a very dangerous collaborative path, before analyzing these personalities, one cannot but pay attention to a person who previously had nothing to do with the media, but thanks to the occupation, became a media person.

Turbulent events in the history of any country are replete with various unexpected plot twists, as a result of which people who until recently did not even think about becoming “widely known in a narrow circle” suddenly become very noticeable media personalities.

For some, finally gained fame is a worthy reward for courage, nobility, patriotism and other praiseworthy qualities. And there are people who seem to have become famous undeservedly, because their fame absolutely does not correspond to their potential. But if, so to speak, to dig deeper, then this fame is a worthy reward. Or rather, “reward”.

For betrayal, stupidity, shortsightedness, meanness and other bad qualities.

It is to persons who decide to act according to the principle “to betray in time – not to betray, but to foresee,” Serhiy Moroz refers. In the recent past, he is a blogger who praised the Russian occupation of Kherson, and now he is a fake “press secretary” of the criminal “military-civilian administration of the Kherson region”.

The news about the “appointment” of this person as a fake “press secretary” adequate Kherson residents, monitoring the situation in the occupied region, probably perceived with bewilderment. The blogger, who previously worked as a laborer, became famous shortly after the occupation. Then, for obvious reasons, not many dared to shoot and post videos or streams on the network.

Fearing nothing, this was done only by bloggers who explicitly or covertly collaborated with the occupiers, including Serhiy Moroz. His “correct” stories were very quickly picked up by the Russian propaganda “media”. The plots, however, were, as they say, “without a deity, without inspiration”.

Blogger Sergey Moroz turned out to be very poor, but his “vidosiks” with dull and devoid of even a hint of intelligence comments were still in demand due to the acute shortage of such content from the occupied territory.

And now the blogger “rose” to the whole criminal “press secretary of the military-civilian administration”. Of course, if the invasion of the Russian military into Ukraine and the occupation of the Kherson region had not happened, Serhiy Moroz would have remained a laborer. But collaboration has become for him a kind of “springboard” to fame, and he already flickers in the plots of Russian channels.

But this kind of fame has a downside. Smart people are well aware that all this popularity is exaggerated, and a person, in fact, is a dummy and a “pawn”. As, however, and all the other traitors in the criminal “military-civilian administration”. None of them decides anything now, even the criminal “head”, Volodimir Saldo, who was once one of the influential people in Kherson.

But Gennady Shelestenko, unlike Serhiy Moroz, was little known in Kherson even before the occupation. He positioned himself as a “blogger”, “journalist” and “writer”. A few years ago, he was very friendly with Kirilo Stremousov, a collaborator, a fake “deputy head of the military-civilian administration”.

But about three years ago, friends quarreled. People say that Shelestenko, who was photographing and filming the provocations arranged by Stremousov, demanded for himself a more generous percentage of the latter’s fees, but the greedy Kirilo flatly refused, not even wanting to bargain.

And then Gennady Shelestenko, together with his wife Elena Nekrotkova, created their own media project “Kherson Bulletin NEW”, which specialized in black PR and existed in the form of a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a paper newspaper. The latter came out during election campaigns and served either the “Opposition Bloc” or Volodimir Saldo.

Shelestenko and Nekrotkova have never been “journalists” in the correct sense of the word. The proficiency in written language for both is at a very weak level, the spouses do not shine with intelligence and talent. But what they have in abundance is pro-Russian sentiment and hatred for their country. Therefore, literally from the beginning of the occupation of the Kherson Rregion, they decided on their position. Russians were praised for “saving” the region from “Ukronazis”, distributing “humanitarian aid”, and Ukrainian patriots were “outcasts” for them, “interfering with a normal life”.

The result was not long in coming. Gennady Shelestenko was announced by SBU for suspicion of treason. He was also expelled from the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, and membership in the creative union of Elena Nekrotkova, who plunged into the propaganda whirlpool along with her husband, for some reason was only suspended. By the way, the “muddy” story with the admission of odious spouses has yet to be analyzed.

Membership in the Union of Journalists of Gennady Kabachenko, a Kherson “journalist” known in the professional environment for his “quick” views, has also been suspended. Kabachenko runs the “Infobur” collaborating telegram channel, and, according to information from trusted sources, writes anonymously for one of their odious pro-Russian publications. True, the channel has a little more than 200 subscribers and therefore is not particularly generously funded by curators. As a result: Kabachenko from time to time places ads there with requests for financial assistance.

The Kherson “journalist” Oleg Grushko, the actual owner and editor of the “Naddnepryanka” website, also decided on his position. Grushko has been known in Kherson for many years as a 100 % “parquet journalist” who serves the authorities. At various times, he headed communal publications: the city newspaper “Kherson Vestnik” from 2004 to 2010, just during the infamous Volodimir Saldo’s tenure as mayor of the city, and the regional newspaper “Naddnepryanskaya Pravda Plus”, from 2013 to 2015.

When Grushko, painfully nostalgic for the USSR and not hiding sympathy for Russia, turned out to be “out of court” for the authorities, he took up his website, where he published some of the materials under his own name, and some anonymously. The latter included notes and articles with rabid anti-Ukrainian rhetoric.

Information about the cooperation of Oleg Grushko and his publication with the Russians was made public shortly after May 9, 2022, when the “journalist” was “spotted” and photographed at the “festive” events organized by the occupiers and collaborators, that is, at the “terry victory frenzy”.

Grushko made a photo essay, which appeared on the website “Naddnepryanka” on the same day. The tone of the published material was, of course, pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian.

It is also known from reliable sources that, at the suggestion of Volodymyr Saldo, the occupiers approved the candidacy of Oleg Grushko for the position of, so to speak, “media gauleiter” of the Kherson region, whose duty will be to “brainwash” the population. He is transferred to the management of the “printing house” and instructed to create a “newspaper”.

However, after the “Institute of Mass Information” published information about the cooperation of the Kherson “journalist” with the rashists, strange events began to occur. For the past few days, the site “Naddnepryanka” has not been active, and its owner and editor … has disappeared. The “journalist”’s acquaintances say they haven’t seen him for about a week.

Perhaps Grushko was instructed by Russian curators to close the project and focus on new work. Maybe he even left for the occupied Crimea or Russia to receive instructions.

But such an option as the flight of a collaborator is also likely. After all, Grushko is known in the Kherson media environment as a person who equally combines moral uncleanliness and cowardice, despite the fact that he is a former military man. Therefore, one should not exclude the possibility that the “quilted jacket” “journalist” went to the unoccupied territory of Ukraine.

Grushko certainly understands perfectly well that anonymously running a pro-Russian website and being a “highlighted” collaborator are two big differences. And he probably does not want to join Gennady Shelestenko, who is already “under the hood” of the SBU, but the fact of cooperation with the Russians can no longer be hidden.

Alas, in the Kherson region, not only individual “journalists” and semi-marginal publications, but also … television companies become collaborators. In particular, recently a message appeared on the website of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting stating that the “VTV Plus” television and radio company from April 27 to April 29, 2022 conducted a series of programs “This is important” and “How Kherson region will live on”, in which pseudo-“governor” Vladimir Saldo. The National Council qualified this as high treason. Thus, the “VTV Plus” television company, which broadcasts in Kherson, has become one of the leading media resources in the city serving the occupiers.

“VTV Plus” belongs to the Kamensky family: Tatyana Kamenskaya, a well-known “journalist” in Kherson, and her son Vitaly. Among other things, the TV company is also known for the fact that over the past few years, especially after 2014, it has invited mainly local politicians from pro-Russian parties as speakers in its programs, and also actively showed Soviet films. And the “open secret” was that such an editorial policy was well funded by the aggressor.

Now “VTV Plus” generously provides airtime to Kherson collaborators and covers propaganda events such as the recent fake “press tour of foreign journalists to Kherson” organized by the Russians, in which, as the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine found out, bloggers from the United States and Germany, who have nothing to do with the media and have been living in Russia for the past few years.

The site “Kherson Life”, which anonymously publishes texts with aggressive anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian rhetoric, was previously owned by Kherson journalist Vadim Musiyko, but he claims that in 2020 he allegedly “handed over the site to other people” and avoids any talk about the details of the “transfer”.

The Telegram channel “Baza Zradnikov Kherson” recently published information about another Kherson journalist who allegedly became a collaborator. The site, which this journalist is the editor of, has really taken a strange position, to put it mildly. The editorial policy of the resource in terms of covering the life of the occupied region is such that the occupation itself remains “out of the box”.

The site simply publishes news about the life of Kherson and the region, practically ignoring the hostilities, shelling of settlements and the occupation of most of the region. But at the same time, there are no texts with anti-Ukrainian or pro-Russian rhetoric on the site.

The occupiers in the Kherson region are also served by a number of telegram channels, but this is a topic for another conversation.