In Mariupol «nationalistic cleansing. Moscow to civilians: “Go to Russia, whoever remains is” with them “”

Of Andrea Nicastro

The Russians ask the population to wear a white armband and show the distribution of food to exhausted civilians on TV


– The Russian soldiers did not ask for anything in particular from Oleg and his family. Documents, checking the trunk, glove compartment and off you go. Perhaps because, despite the 17 days of medieval siege, he has retained the mild air of an employee. For Vadym, however, every check point from Mariupol towards Zaporizhzhia
it was an ordeal. The shotgun pointed in the window. Abrupt orders. The other Russian soldiers lying on their tanks to rest with a long beard and a cigarette in their hand. The feeling of being among marauders rather than soldiers. “They could shoot us, crush us, destroy us at will.” Vadym is less than 40 years old and has fled the besieged city with his two high school children. “Maybe because there were three males in the car we were suspects. At every check they made us get off and undress. They told me, pray to god you don’t have a swastika tattooed. But then they would look at my hands or shoulders to see if I had the burns or recoil bruises of the shooter. ‘ Vadym baked pizzas from “Yummy Eat” and they let him pass. Instead, the Russians offered a bottle of water to Yelena, a mother with two little girls. “I held it in my hand that felt like it was hot. The girls were thirsty, I resisted and threw it away. I also thought she was poisoned. ‘

The latest news on the war in Ukraine

They came out in a few yesterday from Mariupol in the direction Ukraine than in previous days. Just 4 thousand according to the Zaporizhzhia registration center. On the other hand, the mayor of Mariupol denounces a sort of deportation by Moscow. Anyone who agrees to be evacuated to Russia would first have phones and documents filtered and then sent to other regions. For Mayor Vadym Boichenko, who many rumors say is no longer in the city, it is a Stalin-style maneuver, for the Russians of banal redistribution. “In the Livoberezhny neighborhood, the enemies forced more than a thousand people to leave. They were hiding from the bombing in the cellars of a gymnasium and were deported ».

Kremlin forces already control some neighborhoods and civilians no longer need it. They let them go. We are witnessing a nationalistic rather than ethnic cleansing. Whoever is against Moscow leaves and is not detained. Those who remain are resigned or happy with the presence of Moscow. The Russians are asking civilians to wear a white armband, the sign of their troops. For the armed men, in defense of the city, it is a trick that allows them to infiltrate Russian soldiers in civilian clothes. Services appeared on Federation TVs showing the distribution of essential boxes with a large Z printed on the cardboard. Exhausted civilians gather, curse the war and return to the cellars.

It is not clear whether or not there is still a definite front, a Ukrainian side and another conquered and cleared of possible resisters by the Kremlin military. As it is still not clear if anyone is really digging in the rubble of the bombed theater. If there were any survivors (and there are those who insist with the number of a thousand) they would be trapped for the fourth night. The problem is that the firefighters are no longer operational and the military who may have the machines to break through the rubble have to fight. The Russian propaganda machine has already begun to sell the Mariupol conquest to its public opinion. In the city, however, according to the evacuees who arrived yesterday, there is fighting on every street. The Russian armored vehicles make raids, act as bait to attract sniper fire and then the planes bomb the origin of the attack. On the ground, the house-to-house roundup would be entrusted to the Chechens. Videos are circulating of «kadirovsky», the warriors of Chechen President Kadyrov, who shoot empty buildings and recover babies from cellars. They celebrate with the usual Allah Akbar. On the other side of the propaganda, the Azov brigade, the ultra-right-wing ultra-nationalists who defend the city with the regular army, claims to have destroyed an enemy patrol: a tank, two armored vehicles and 40 men. From the Ukrainian capital, they admit that it will be difficult to bring reinforcements to the city. Azov and the soldiers are alone.

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