Oleg Zubkov steals raccoons and other animals from Kherson Zoo


The Russian military earned a reputation for pillaging its way through Ukraine, taking washing machines, electronics, cultural artifacts, and even the bones of Empress Catherine II’s darling. But the latest theft – including seven raccoons, two wolves, a peacock, a llama and a donkey from the Kherson Zoo – has entered the world of farce.

A private zoo in Crimea, Taigan Lion Park, owned by Oleg Zubkov, filmed him grabbing raccoons by the tails and tossing them into cages in a YouTube video titled “We are in Kherson. Oleg Zubkov hunts raccoons with bare hands!!! “

The video, which was not available on Sunday, showed two of his aides holding a llama rough in a rickety, windowless car while a dog barked nearby. Another video uploaded on Sunday Show two wolves Which he said is from Kherson Zoo unload it In the Crimean Zoo, where two Russian TV channels filmed the event. He called it a “temporary evacuation.”

“It will be much better for the wolves here: a vast territory, the Crimean sun, and besides, after quarantine, they will get a male,” Zubkov said. “It was their dream to live here,” he claimed in comments to Russian media on YouTube.

He said the animals, including any wolf cubs, would be brought back after Russia reoccupied Kherson.

This is a humanitarian mission for us. These animals have no animal value to us. We have wolves of our own. We have 75 raccoons. “We can make canned raccoon meat,” he said before giggling, in what seemed to be an embarrassing joke. “Sorry. But seriously, we have a lot of raccoons, but we took these animals to keep them alive and so that the people of Kherson are happy to see them alive again. The animals are in good hands.”

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The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense published one of the videos and warned of retaliation for the theft of the raccoon.

Ukrainian forces retook the strategic southern city last week after a Russian withdrawal. Kherson was one of the first major cities to fall to the massive Kremlin invasion that began in February. Editing is welcomed Celebration in the streets After months of Russian occupation.

The removal of the animals was widely reported in the Russian media, and was depicted as a small bright spot in a grim picture. It came to light when Russian nationalist poet and blogger Anna Dolgareva boasted on Telegram that the “only good news” about Moscow’s surrender to Kherson was that her friend had managed to “steal a raccoon” from the Kherson Zoo.

“We’re not going to bring the raccoon back,” Dolgareva said. “We will return Kherson.”

She said that the Raccoon Telegram channel, Raccoon from Kherson, had been created.

Ukrainian animal activist Oleksandr Todorchuk confirmed the report on Facebook.

Zubkov, who calls himself the Lion Man, was convicted of negligence after one of his tigers bit the finger of a one-year-old boy in September 2021. He was sentenced to two years and three months in prison and served two months. The Occupation Court overturned the sentence on October 27 and released him shortly after on the condition that he not leave the area. Zubkov said the Kremlin’s appointed leader in Crimea, Sergei Aksionov, intervened to ensure he could travel to Kherson to take the animals.

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Last month, the designated leader of the Russian administration in Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, said Russia had taken the bones of Grigory Potemkin from his grave in Kherson. Potemkin, a Russian military figure of the 18th century, annexed the Crimea, founded the city, ruled the Russian imperial lands in the region and created the Black Sea Fleet. He was also famous as the lover of Empress Catherine II, who was known as Catherine the Great.

The loss of Kherson destroys Putin’s war goals in Ukraine

Ukrainian officials accused Russia of transporting disabled children from Kherson to Crimea and Russia, as well as taking prisoners of war. Independent local media channels broadcast video of buses, firetrucks, construction equipment and even a miniature train with wagons for children – all being driven out of Kherson in the days before Moscow surrenders to the city.

The administration appointed by the Kherson State Kremlin also removed hundreds of valuable works of art and icons from the Kherson Museum of Art, emptied the exhibition from October 31 to November 3, and took the works, wrapped in rags and packed into vans, to the Crimea before Russia. Kherson surrender, according to museum staff on Facebook Mail On November 4th.

They call it “evacuation.” In our language, the post said it was “loot”. Later works appeared in the Central Museum of Tvrida in the Crimean city of Simferopol. Kherson Police announce A criminal investigation into business theft, though it focuses on the stability of the recently restored city.

Police also reported that Russian forces stole four official cars from a medical center, hospital computers, medicine, civilian cars, boats and hunting weapons.

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Ukrainian officials accused Russia of looting and damaging hundreds of Ukrainian cultural institutions during the war.

Ukrainian officials said Russian forces also blew up buildings and blew up a television tower, communication towers and bridges in central Kherson. Local media reported that witnesses said they saw Russians removing building materials, furniture and household appliances from Kherson.

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