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Zelensky says nearly 400 health facilities have been destroyed or damaged by Russian forces

(andiyshTime/Telegram)

Medals, signboards and statues were some of the earliest symbols of Russia’s conquest of parts of southern Ukraine, particularly Mariupol.

This week, medals for “the liberation of Mariupol” were awarded by the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushlin, and a senior member of the United Russia party led by Vladimir Putin, Andrei Turchak.

DPR has worked hard to change road signs from Ukrainian to Russian – especially those at the entrance to Mariupol.

The southeastern port city has been under siege for several weeks, with efforts now focusing on the Avostal steelworks. On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces “did not stop” bombing the station.

The factory is being evacuated while civilians and soldiers are still trapped inside, with the “next phase” continuing, according to Andrey Yermak, chief of staff to the Ukrainian president. More than 300 evacuees from the Mariupol region arrived in the city of Zaporizhia on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the DRC’s transport ministry promised to continue work to replace road signs in what it calls the liberated territories. A statue also appeared in Mariupol depicting an elderly woman holding a Soviet flag.

Petro Andruchenko, adviser to the elected mayor of Mariupol, spoke bitterly about the growing number of Russian officials visiting Mariupol, including Sergei Kiriyenko, a senior Kremlin official – calling them “guardians of Mariupol’s integration into Russia”.

Referring to the new statue, Androshiko said the Russians had opened a monument to “an old lady carrying a flag in Liberator Warriors Square, which they stubbornly called the Leninist Komsomol”.

Androshenko also distributed new photos on Friday, saying that “in recent days all traces of the Soviet era have been ‘restored’: the so-called ‘fist’ with eternal fire – and signs that say ‘for the victims of fascism “in Russian”. [Also the] Monument to “members of the Komsomol and communists” of the Primorsky district.

Although not in Mariupol, Andrushenko has ties to people still there and claims the Russian flag was also raised at the city’s hospital, spreading the image.

“The occupiers allowed doctors to work for the people of Mariupol. Medical staff and doctors live directly in the hospital and there is only outpatient care. The hospital is supplied with light by generators, and water – by tank trucks.

Also posted a Brief video A screenshot of a vehicle on Prospect Myru showing the cluster of wreckage. Like other Ukrainian officials, Androshenko claimed that “the task of recovering the bodies from the rubble is entrusted to the residents of Mariupol. Pay them – food.

On the way to Zaporizhzhya from Mariupol, the route most of those trying to escape from Mariupol have to take, is the town of Tokmak, also under Russian occupation. The entrance sign to the city has been repainted with the Russian tricolor.

Elsewhere in southern Ukraine, the ruble is being gradually introduced, according to a community group on Facebook, government workers in the town of Yakimivka were told that if they wanted to be paid in Ukrainian hryvnia, “the occupiers would take two-thirds of a salary.”

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