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Mariupol: A Homecoming

Looking back at the origins of the battle

The Battle for Mariupol lasted 83 days. It is the primary combat of the special operation in Ukraine. Ukrainian army and nationalists from the Azov battalion tried to turn the city into a stronghold. Azov’s tactics of using civilians as human shields dramatically complicated the combat. They locked the exits from Mariupol, preventing people from evacuating through ‘green corridors’. That led to multiple civilian casualties. Russian soldiers had to take considerable risks to save the citizens of Mariupol.

‘In 2014, it was obvious that this benign tumour was turning into a malignant one. And in future, it can’t be cured by any means except surgery. The only question is that this cancer doesn’t grow into an inoperable fourth stage,’ this is how Aleksandr Khodakovskiy, founder and commander of the Donbass militia’s Vostok battalion described the nature of Maidan. He witnessed the beginning of drastic changes in Ukraine after the Maidan. He was one of the Donbass resistance chiefs and fought for eight years in the Donbass war. During the Battle for Mariupol, he and his comrades reclaimed street by street, overcoming the Azov nationalist battalion and the Ukrainian army in the city. His and other stories are included in the film.