- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Greek Community Reveals Details of Atrocities of Azov Militants in Mariupol, Report Says

© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankA destroyed house near the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
A destroyed house near the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.06.2022
ATHENS (Sputnik) - Members of the Greek community in Mariupol have shared their first-person accounts of the atrocities committed by the neo-Nazi Azov battalion in the city, including the killings of civilians, threats and robbery, the Estia newspaper reported on Sunday.
The newspaper cites the testimony of Natalia Papakitsa, the chairman of the Greek society of the village of Sartana near Mariupol, who was held hostage for 33 days along with dozens of other civilians in the basement of one of the houses.
"When we were starving, they would break into apartments at our home and rob us, taking everything that was valuable, from food to clothes," Papakitsa told the newspaper, adding that the Greeks of Mariupol "want the world to learn the truth."
According to Papakitsa, 38 people were trapped in the basement without light, water or fresh air, "like other thousands of Greeks of the diaspora and Mariupol residents," the report said.
As for the future of Donbass, Papakitsa believes that it will be with Russia, since "no one wants to return under the control of Kiev," the newspaper added.
Greek mainstream media did not publish reports about crimes of the nationalist Azov battalion. In April, two militants of the Azov battalion of Greek origin spoke to the Greek parliament alongside Volodymyr Zelensky via videoconference, causing a political scandal, with many lawmakers boycotting the meeting.
Mariupol, the second largest city in the Donetsk People's Republic, at the time of the proclamation of its independence in 2014, has been under control of the Ukrainian forces. The city came under the Russian control on 21 April, with the remaining Azov-affiliated Ukrainian militants sheltering at the Azovstal steel plant. Russia offered safe exit to all those who agreed to surrender and lay down arms.
The mass surrender of the remaining Azov battalion from Azovstal ended on 20 May, when a total of 2,400 Ukrainian militants were transported to the DPR to await trial and the plant came under the control of the Russian forces.
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