Over 2,100 victims in the siege of Mariupol: 34 more Italians in the besieged cities in Ukraine

Of Andrea Nicastro

A Russian soldier’s message to his mother: “Either we raze everything, or we go back to a coffin.” The video of one of our compatriots from the martyr city of the south


DNIPRO – THEPutin’s special operation looks more and more like what was done during the Second World War. Now it is worth anything to overthrow Ukraine. Shut down cities and starve them. Bomb civilians in addition to the military. Hit the trains of those who run away or the journalists. Buying, blackmailing and ultimately making non-cooperating politicians disappear. Cutting the supply lines, hitting the training camps and the industries that support the war effort from the rear with weapons or cans of beans does not matter. Use cluster or phosphorus bombs. There is still ample scope in the mighty Russian arsenal to grow into violence. Cities can be bombed out. Use chemical weapons and maybe even nuclear ones. If the resistance does not yield, the level of cruelty will rise as it has always been done in any war.

Ukraine-Russia: the latest news on the war

The soldier

The summary is given by a Russian soldier intercepted while talking to his mother on the mobile phone. In a forest of bad words he admits his fear of dying and when his mother urges him to resist he agrees with her: «Mom, look, I understood it by myself. Either we clear all these cities here or I’ll go back to a coffin. ‘ The soldier uses the expression “grus dvesti»,« Load 200 », as the transport of corpses is defined in Russian military jargon. On day 17 of the war, Putin has not yet conquered anything decisive, not an important city, not a region has chosen to be on his side. Time is starting to run out for him too. His soldiers know that there is no third option: either they win or “load 200”.

The three disappeared

There are three Ukrainian political disappearances. Two mayors and an activist that via Facebook had called a protest. The first citizens had refused to cooperate with the Russians. They are Ivan Fyodorov, mayor of Melitopol, and Evgen Matviev, mayor of Dniprorudne. Moscow expected people like Fyodorov or Matviev, Russians by surname, culture and language, to accept Putin’s troops. That’s not what happened. The towns from which the Ukrainian army has withdrawn do not cooperate. The provincial council of Kherson was convened via Zoom by the Russians to obtain the calling of a referendum. On the card the institution of the National Republic of Kherson, essentially a replica of the two mini breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The provincial council of 44 members unanimously rejected the referendum. Berdyansk, another town on the Black Sea, is also not tamed. Yesterday march against the invasion. The Russians from the loudspeakers announced three bans: to the marches, to the carrying of weapons, to the photos of the Russian forces. Two out of three failed. The Italian ambassador to Ukraine, Pier Francesco Zazo, says that out of 2 thousand Italians there are 400 left, “some trapped”.

Paving the cities

At least two of them have been in contact with the Courier service
from Mariupol. Yesterday a video leaked from the besieged port city, which since the beginning of the conflict has counted more than 2,100 victims, one of the very first in 11 days of isolation. It shows the burglarized shops, the smashed shop windows of Soviet 1950s buildings, the shelves from which every last pin has been stolen. The man talks about fighting in the city center. He does not explain if it is bombing or bombing clashes between the Russians and snipers, the explosive traps, the ambushes that the Ukrainian army and the Azov brigade have prepared. With the video, you cross the shop to the back and there you see the other side of the war. People, shaken, hungry, tired, cold, who still survive. There are those who take care of a tiny wood fire for cooking, those who perhaps come back from a hole in the earth which, with the sewers blocked, acts as a toilet. The bombings are continuous, death could come at any time, but until then, people have to live. The parameters of prudence are upset, you leave the shelters, you challenge your fate. What counts is eating, finding water. The bombs will continue to explode in the brain for all the years to come. But for now it’s all about staying alive.

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