A report from a Russian city that endured fierce battles and is now coming back to life
© RT/Yuri Mironov
Active fighting in Mariupol began on February 24, 2022 – the first day of Russia’s military operation. It ended in late May, when the last fighters of the neo-Nazi battalion ‘Azov’, who were holding a line of defense at the Azovstal plant, finally surrendered.
In three months of fierce combat, most residential buildings were damaged or destroyed. The statistics have been confirmed by hundreds of frightening pictures of the nearly-ruined city, which were seen by the whole world. Ruined homes, broken roads, and destroyed infrastructure form a recognizable image of present-day Mariupol. And yet, thousands of people still live in the city. How do the locals feel about the war and life there today and has the city managed to recover in six months of “peaceful” life? RT’s correspondent tried to find out.
Willpower amidst ruin
“Danger! Mines!” is one of the first road signs visible at the entrance to the city. A skull and bones are drawn under the inscription on a red plaque and below is the same text in English. Destroyed buildings sparsely appear on both sides of the highway. Some have broken windows, holes in the walls from rocket strikes, bullets, and shrapnel. Others have been leveled to the ground.