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Russia boasts of turning devastated Ukraine’s Mariupol into a ‘rapidly developing city’

Russia boasts of turning devastated Ukraine’s Mariupol into a ‘rapidly developing city’

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Ukraine war

May 20, 2023 | 2:13 p.m

Russia marked a year since its brutal takeover of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol with a social media post praising Moscow’s new infrastructure developments in a “bustling and rapidly evolving metropolis” – even as residents screamed that their once-vibrant metropolis had descended into bleak memories of its rule. Soviet Union.

On the anniversary of Russia’s capture of Mariupol – the culmination of a months-long battle that left the city in ruins and at least 21,000 civilians killed – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Posted on Twitter An emoji-filled message denigrates Ukrainian fighters and praises Moscow’s work in revitalizing the port city on the Sea of ​​Azov.

Signs of the day [1] A year since the city of #mariupol was liberated from the neo-nazis of the Kiev regime, who used its citizens as a human shield,” reads the letter, accompanied by photos of newly constructed buildings painted with murals of a patriotic Russian woman and children playing together.

“Today, it is a busy and rapidly developing city with newly built areas, hospitals, schools and kindergartens.”


The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had “liberated” Mariupol residents from “neo-Nazis”.
Twitter / @mfa_russia

Critics tore down the newly built apartment blocks as “Potemkin Villages”.
Twitter / @mfa_russia

Critics soon criticized the Russian government for its propaganda, criticizing the new buildings as “good old”. Potemkin villages. ”

One person “looks like hell” sarcastic.

Others were surprised that Russian officials avoided mentioning that new construction was necessary because Moscow destroyed the city during its conquest.

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One Twitter user, “You forgot to mention that you bombed the city, destroyed and killed God knows how many civilians.” He saida picture of dozens of charred and black apartment complexes dotting the landscape.


Mariupol residents said that living there today reminded them of the Soviet Union.
AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainians still living in Mariupol and hoping for a quick military offensive to retake the city paint a bleak picture of life under Russian occupation.

They complain of high prices in the barren shops and the regular presence of Russian soldiers on the streets. Others hardly pass multi-storey buildings without any heat or light slated for demolition.

“The city is not the city I used to know. The people are not the same. Everything has changed,” one resident said he told the Guardian. “I always feel like I want to go home.”


Many critics of the Russian ministry’s post angrily pointed out that the country had bombed many city buildings.
AFP via Getty Images

Others indicated that their children were being “brainwashed” at school, as the Ukrainian language was banned and pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin were hung.

Another resident said: “Children are told that the president of Russia is the best, and Ukraine is full of bad guys and fascists.”

“It’s like the Soviet Union. There are weird slogans. Only the math and physics haven’t changed.”

Even those who are optimistic that Ukrainian forces will liberate the city in the next counterattack are aware that Mariupol will need major redevelopment afterward.

“The Russians destroyed everything. A lot of people died,” said a woman who fled the city. “It would be like Chernobyl, a ghost place.”


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