Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Today Mariupol is “mentally ready” to come out with the tricolour in order to be a part of the DPR. Such an opinion was expressed to “Obozrevatel” by the Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov.
“As I understand, Mariupol is almost ready, mentally ready. Pay attention to the television package that Mariupol watches. If the order is given, people will take to the streets with the tricolour. The same iron and steel works in Mariupol, the same port, and others,” he said.
The expert reminded that “they already created municipal police – it is practically a private military company that at the right time will receive weapons”. Zhdanov assumes only a “regiment of patriots” [pro-Ukrainians – ed] will fight for Ukraine in Mariupol.
At the same time he is sure that “the military option is the last option, because nobody will send troops into the half-million city and begin shooting there”. According to the expert, the destiny of the city will be decided by what flags the inhabitants come out with.
“Everything will depend on the leadership of the country, because this is a question of political agreements. There may be an option, like in Crimea: the order will be given to not open fire, a humanitarian corridor will be organised for an exit (of fighters of the “anti-terrorist operation”) for the under-control territory. But maybe, if there is the political will, the National Guard [of Ukraine – ed] will enter the city, and then generally nobody will go out with the tricolour – everyone will sit in their houses,” answered Zhdanov.
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