February 2, 2023

Money News PH

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He returned a dazed soldier to the Russians. Ukraine calls it treason.

“I don’t think he’s honest or altruistic and I’m telling him to his face,” Mr. Samoylenko said.

But in Cherson’s small Jewish community, the remnant of what was once an important strand in the fabric of that city, Mr. Karamalikov was widely respected. Before the Holocaust, Rabbi Wolff said, Kherson had 26 temples. Now only one remains, Kherson’s Chabad Synagogue, and Mr Karamalikov regularly allowed her free use of his nightclub space.

“He never said no,” Rabbi Wolff said.

Mr Karamalikov was busy during those first chaotic weeks of the war, his lawyer said – speeding through Kherson in his white Audi, checking on neighborhood patrols, stopping at the synagogue and turning his businesses into de facto relief depots, where he distributed boxes of supplies.

This brought him face to face with Russian officers, notably a colonel dressed all in black and codenamed Alpha. Mr Karamalikov had no choice, his lawyer said. Restive Russian troops were spread across the city and Mr Karamalikov had to speak to Russian commanders like Alpha “to make sure they didn’t shoot any of the volunteers”.

At around 10pm on March 15, a plumber, a carpenter and the carpenter’s son were standing at a checkpoint when they saw the silhouette of someone scurrying back and forth in the shadows. Then a voice called out, “I’m one of you!” and out stepped the Russian soldier who had mistook the neighborhood guards for other Russians.

Andriy Skvortsov, the carpenter’s son, said the soldier was confused and barely able to string a sentence together. When he realized the men in front of him were Ukrainians, he looked extremely scared, Mr Skvortsov said. “He was childish and helpless,” said Mr. Skvortsov. And he was heavily armed.