© Reuters/Shamil ZhumatovLocal resident Viktor Shevchenko walks outside a building damaged by a recent shelling in the Ukrainian eastern city of Slaviansk July 1, 2014.
In Slavyansk, occupied by Ukrainian troops, the local residents have practically disappeared. The town is being inundated with migrants speaking in a foreign dialect, who take over the housing of those who left to escape the Ukrainian bombing campaign.

This is reported by one of very few residents of Slavyansk who, trusting Ukrainian official propaganda, made the decision to return to his native city. The picture that he saw is terrifying. He realized that the information about residents of Slavyansk returning home is nothing but a vile lie.

"Please, heed our plea! The people have disappeared from Slavyansk!

"I am a native of Slavyansk, residing here already for twenty-seven years. Or better to say 'I was residing', having left the town three months ago, when it was becoming dangerous to stay. During this time I found refuge with relatives in Odessa. I made a decision to return when all the Ukrainian media started saying that everything in Slavyansk was back to normal, that over sixty percent of residents have come back.

"In the three months of my absence my apartment remained untouched by shells from the junta's bombardment or by its marauding thugs. I had already started to unpack when I heard the sound of my neighbour's doors opening across the hallway. I thought it must have been my neighbour, Sergey Ivanovich, but then I saw a young man unknown to me. To my question about his identity he replied that he was Sergey Ivanovich's son.

"Small problem here - my neighbour's son died in a car accident three years ago - and he happened to be my childhood friend. I decided to pay a visit to my other neighbours and ask who this guy really is, perhaps truly a son about whom I had no idea.

"Most of the apartments remained empty, but not all. And those which were occupied were occupied by people totally unknown to me. They introduced themselves as new tenants or relatives of my neighbours.

"I knew everybody in my building, but those people I saw for the first time in my life. When I wanted to visit my acquaintances elsewhere, those whom I knew had decided to stay in town under siege, I was able to find neither them nor anybody even vaguely familiar. I was trying to locate old friends, trying all the phone numbers I knew - but nobody answered.

"Where are my friends, will you tell me, Kiev junta? As I found out from communication with others, the same experience was shared by others who had returned home after Kiev's army occupied the town. The streets are practically devoid of people; those who do walk there are clearly not locals.

"They speak Ukrainian, and if they try Russian one can spot a strong Western Ukrainian accent. Maybe we are going crazy, but it's not only me alone who thinks the population of Slavyansk has been replaced by junta actors, for the sole purpose of hiding the fact either of extermination of the local inhabitants, or of their deportation.

"Please spread this message, everyone must know what is happening with our city after its so-called 'liberation'! ", pleads this inhabitant of Slavyansk.

Translation by Valentina Lisitsa
Edited by S. Naylor & @GBabeuf