"Mariupol: The People Story" - Dominik Soloviej's Review

, 16:55, 10.02.2024
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In the face of the brutal conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, Mariupol stands as a symbol of resilience and tragedy. Dominik Soloviej's review of "Mariupol: Stories of the Residents"

Mariupol: The People Story - Dominik Soloviejs Review

Mariupol: The People Story

Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, Mariupol - these words have become a symbol of the cruelty that Ukraine is experiencing today from the Russian Federation, as in these very places soldiers and mercenaries killed civilians, thus violating all international agreements regarding the conduct of wars.

I would like to tell you about one of these towns today, reviewing a shocking documentary that can be viewed online. "Mariupol: The People's Story" is the quintessence of journalism, whose task is to inform honestly and objectively about the world around us. This can be done by giving voice to the residents of the city - people who for many days tried to survive the massive attacks with artillery shells and rockets fired from planes. This documentary is built on their stories - a tale of an exceptionally cruel war waged by Russia not only to destroy the Ukrainian army but also to bring Ukraine to ruin, depriving it of history, identity, and a future.

"Mariupol: The People's Story"

The attack on Mariupol began as early as 2014 when separatists, supported by the Russian Federation, tried to detach Mariupol from Ukraine. At that time, the Ukrainian army managed to regain control of the city, but the subsequent attack, carried out directly from Russian territory in 2022, led to the encirclement and capture of Mariupol by Russian soldiers. Initially, the city's residents thought that the target of the attack would be solely the army, but as the resistance of Ukrainians grew, the Russians became increasingly ruthless, shelling the city daily, systematically, with undiminished energy.

We all remember the photos of the bombed theater in Mariupol, where hundreds of civilians sought shelter from the bombings, and around which on both sides the word "Children" was written on the ground to spare this place from Russian pilots. Unfortunately, on March 16, as a result of a deliberate attack on the theater in Mariupol, the Russian army killed over 600 people using a laser-guided bomb. It was then that Oleksiy Reznikov, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, called this attack an act of genocide and state terrorism by Russia.

Mariupol: The People Story - Dominik Soloviejs Review

Despite everything, Mariupol did not want to surrender, as evidenced by the heroic defense of Azovstal - a powerful complex of buildings of a metallurgical plant covering an area of ​​11 square kilometers. There, in bunkers and underground corridors, Ukrainian soldiers barricaded themselves, defending not only the factory but also civilians who had sought refuge in Azovstal from the hail of Russian shells and bombs and lived there, without access to sunlight and fresh air, for almost two and a half months.

What was their life like? We can learn this from the documentary "Mariupol: The People's Story," a significant part of which consists of videos shot on cell phones by those who managed to escape from the besieged city.

We see in them the interiors of bunkers and tunnels, destroyed buildings and streets, scattered wrecks of cars and tanks, and - an unforgettable image - bodies of people covered with blankets or tarps lying on the streets of Mariupol and Azovstal, waiting for someone to bury them in a garden or park when the bombing stops.

Mariupol: The People Story - Dominik Soloviejs Review

Similar footage reached us from Bucha and Irpin, but Mariupol was the first because it bore the brunt of the Russian soldiers' and mercenaries' attack. Importantly, the heroes of this documentary also include children of several years old who speak in front of the camera. Imagine the trauma a person will carry who saw the bodies of their loved ones lying next to a destroyed house in childhood.

Finally, let us add an important fact: Mariupol is the city where, as a result of military actions, the most people have died since the end of World War II. According to cautious estimates by the Ukrainian government, it is about 25,000 people. These people are no longer there, just as there is no beautiful seaside city where more than 431,000 residents lived before the war. Therefore, we encourage you to watch the film about Mariupol because it is the whole truth about the war in Ukraine.


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