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Ukrainians are afraid to ‘open their mouths’ because authorities terrorize them — Putin

The Russian leader also stressed that Russia would maintain relations with those residents of Ukraine who understand what is going on

VLADIVOSTOK, September 7. /TASS/. Many residents of Ukraine are afraid to ‘even open their mouths’ because the current government terrorizes those who do not support Kiev's policies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

"In Ukraine, for a long time, power has actually fallen into the hands of extreme nationalists and neo-Nazis, and they are carrying out total terror there. And many people are afraid to even open their mouths and say what they really think. We are sometimes critical of some of our citizens who perceive our actions to protect Donbass in their own way, but there they are shot in the streets and killed without trial. Those who have a different opinion <...> there, they are simply physically destroyed," Putin said.

At the same time, the Russian president noted that there were many Ukrainians who did not support Kiev's policy and opposed neo-Nazism. However, the threat from the authorities is so great that it prevents them from freely expressing their opinions.

Putin also stressed that Russia would maintain relations with those residents of Ukraine who "understand what is going on". The President expressed the hope that it is these people who will support the establishment of relations between the two countries.

Organized by the Roscongress Foundation, the Seventh Eastern Economic Forum will be running from September 5 to September 8 in Vladivostok. TASS is the event’s general information partner and its official photohost agency.

This year, the theme of the forum is: "On the Path to a Multipolar World."