Thursday, 24 September

Exactly five years ago, on June 13, 2014, Ukrainian defenders liberated Mariupol from the invaders. What people write on the anniversary day and what should be remembered today – in the reactions from Opinion.

Ex-president Petro Poroshenko thanked everyone, thanks to whom peace returned to Mariupol. In particular, the courageous Mariupol people, who also opposed the enemy.

Interim Health Minister Ulana Suprun recalled that the city was liberated from the Russian occupation by the fighters of the “Azov”, the special battalion of “Dnipro”, the National Guard and the 72d separate mechanized brigade named after Chorni Zaporozhtsi.

Suprun believes that the release of Mariupol is a story about Ukrainians who stopped one of the strongest armies in the world and won the right to be free. To be strong and courageous – an obligatory component of victory and the release of the rest of Ukrainians on all fronts of the hybrid war.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman also joined the congratulations on the liberation of the city, thanking defenders and emphasizing that this victory was extremely important for the whole country.

Minister of Youth Affairs Ihor Zhdanov also thanked the defenders.

Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Vice Prime Minister, stressed that now for the city and the region there are opportunities they were deprived of. It could not have happened if not for June of 2014 when we had torn the region from the Moscow claws. Ms Klympush-Tsintsadze called the history of Mariupol an illustration of the no-alternative of our course on the EU and NATO: either European and Euro-Atlantic integration, or the murky “Russian world.”

The National Guard also remembered the anniversary of the city liberation, having given a few memories of the guards who participated in the defence of Mariupol.

On the page of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they said that they are now just reading the memories of those who gave the opportunity to raise Ukrainian flags above the city by the sea.

The MP Dmytro Linko called the liberation of Mariupol one of the most successful operations of Ukrainian defenders.

Chairman of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Volodymyr Viatrovych called for the memory of our victory. According to him, it is the memory of victories of the past which is the key to future victories.

Instead, the writer and veteran of the war Yury Rudenko suggested that then the Mariupol people were unlikely to understand what kind of good was brought to them by the joint forces of our defenders, but in response to the “Russian spring” Ukraine has started the “Ukrainian summer”.

Serhii Tamarin (nickname Sober), one of the participants in the liberation of Mariupol, said that the euphoria was long gone, and for five years there was only a disappointment from attempts to manipulate these events. In the end, Serhii admitted: it’s sad to understand how things turned out since Mariupol was supposed to be the first letter in our victory, but the authorities, according to him, had another vision.

Borys Ovcharov (call sign Donchanyn), one of the defenders who liberated the city, shared memories from that day and added that at that time there was the golden membership of “Azov”.

Reactions were collected by Stepan the Goat

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