In Ukraine’s South, Russian Occupiers Tighten the Screws

DNIPRO, Ukraine—Russia is tightening its hold over occupied areas of southern Ukraine, installing pro-Moscow leaders, hunting for dissenters and dismantling Ukrainian state institutions.

In the city of Melitopol, like many others in the area, red, blue and white Russian flags now fly atop public buildings. Russian security forces patrol the streets and soldiers man checkpoints, inspecting people’s identification documents and looking through the contents of their mobile phones, residents say.