‘This is not treason and this is not panic. Mariupol residents are not alarmists and don’t like treason. It’s just people in Mariupol are concerned with safety of the town and the whole Ukraine in connection with announced demilitarization of Shyrokine’, – this statement was made by Mariupol activists during press briefing via Skype in Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to coordinator of NGO ‘New Mariupol’ Maria Podybailo, community and activists of Mariupol and nearby settlements ask the government to clearly explain the statement of the President of Ukraine about creation of a buffer zone on results of talks with the Norman Four.
Activists are deeply concerned with process of demilitarization of Shyrokine settlement which puts safety of Mariupol under serious threat.
Recently volunteer regiment ‘Donbas’ was ordered to leave its positions in Shyrokine to be substituted with marines.
According to MP, former commander of ‘Donbas’ regiment Semen Semenchenko, it is only rotation so far, and if they don’t get another order, ‘Donbas’ would return to their positions in the settlement.
However, Semenchenko added that all Ukrainian military are to leave Shyrokine until August 3.
‘We take a ruler and understand that distance from middle of Shyrokine to the checkpoint #14 that is the mark ‘Mariupol’ is 10 km’, – Maria Podybailo said. And if buffer zone is 15 km long, it should pass through the town itself. So that all eastern part of Mariupol would be a buffer zone. And if all military equipment and heavy artillery of more than 100 mm caliber should be withdrawn at distance of 25 km from middle of Shyrokine, it is obvious, that Mariupol lies within this zone.
Maria Podybailo added that she’s not against activity of the President, but she is for safety. She expressed concern with withdrawal of ‘Donbas’ volunteer regiment from Shyrokino.
‘The marines should be with volunteer battalions. It is obvious that they [marines] are not enough’, – she said.
Representative of the Central Committee of the ‘Society for the Defense of Ukraine in Donetsk oblast and Mariupol’ Spartak Stepanov mentioned moral side of the issue.
‘As the previous experience shows, we massively lose territories from the last year. Why should we surrender favorable position in this context?’, – Mr. Stepanov said.
In addition, the volunteer corpuses have already demonstrated their effectiveness.
‘There is no reason to trust Putin, because every talk ends up with losing territories. For Mariupol residents there is only one demarcation line – it is state border of Ukraine, there can be no other line’, – Spartak Stepanov underlined.
The Committee representative also mentioned that residents of Eastern Ukraine need both moral and legislative support.
In particular, adoption of law ‘On the presumption of guilt of terrorists and their accomplices’ to give people possibility to confront militants on the occupied territories.
Despite patriotism of Mariupol residents, rotation of officials hasn’t taken place.
‘All those who organized the so-called referendum in May last year are still not limited in power and there have been no investigations’, – Spartak Stepanov summed up.
Source: Ukraine Crisis Media Center