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The Mayor of Mariupol explains when and why he had left the city

Sunday, 10 April 2022, 22:18
The Mayor of Mariupol explains when and why he had left the city


Vadym Boichenko, the Mayor of Mariupol, had said that he would spend the night outside the city following the advice of the military administration. However, one day he was unable to return to the city because the Russian occupiers had blockaded Mariupol.

Source: Boichenko's interview for the local publication "0629"


Quote: "I was not going to leave the city at all. Even when I was told that I was being targeted, even when my house was shelled, I was not going to do it. I was told that a sabotage and reconnaissance group had entered the city.

I was warned. They ordered me at least not to stay in the city at night.

On the evening of 26 February, I left the city for the headquarters. I went there with part of our team. On the morning of 27 February, we tried to return to Mariupol.

Two of my deputies, who have also been accused of leaving the city, were able to enter Mariupol on 27 February. My driver was stuck at the gas station. As there was a long line, we were there for an hour. We didn’t have a chance to slip through. We were caught in a zone of active hostilities near one of the settlements. We thought we might be killed.

When we figured it out, the local soldiers of the territorial forces prohibited us from going further. We were simply not allowed to enter Mariupol due to heavy tank battles. We had to turn back. The entrance to the city was already blocked, as the Russians had besieged Mariupol." 


Boichenko explained that the Ukrainian authorities had warned him of the invaders' intentions. According to him, infiltrators wanted to catch him and force him to take part in a video where he would confess his love for Russia and support for the Russian occupying forces. Or they would force him to hand over power to an alleged collaborator, such as Kostiantyn Ivashchenko, in order to "legitimise" him in the eyes of the city's residents.

The Mayor of Mariupol says he called the head of the Donetsk Military and Civil Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, and he instructed him to set up a headquarters in another city to coordinate humanitarian aid and evacuate the population from Mariupol. 

He added that local authorities coordinated humanitarian aid and evacuation with the help of two deputies who managed to enter the city. The deputies assisted the government and Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk in creating the routes of the "green corridors" for evacuation.


  • On 10 April, defenders of Mariupol addressed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the military command, asking them for help and saying that no one had been in contact with them for two weeks.
  • President Zelenskyy told international journalists that the fighting in Donbas, including the battle for Mariupol, would determine the course of the war and the future of Ukraine and Europe.
  • On 4 April, Mariupol collaborators, with the support of the Russian military, "appointed" Kostiantyn Ivashchenko, a deputy of the "OPZG" party, as their own mayor. (The "OPZG" is a pro-Russian party, the activity of which was suspended in Ukraine by a decision of the National Security and Defence Council).