The war in Ukraine: in Mariupol the “de-Ukrainization” has already begun

Ukraine – Mariupol was taken over by the Russian army, and the process of Russification, or rather the “de-Ukranization” as they call it, began, is already underway. Russian school programs, Kremlin propaganda on the streets, changing traffic lights … For Moscow, the city is already part of Russia and intends to make it understandable to everyone.

A tactic applied and will be applied in other cities that fell under the yoke of Russia. Senior Kremlin officials, such as the Moscow-appointed deputy head of the Kherson region, Kirill Strimosov, have promised to stay in southern Ukraine “forever”.

Almost three months after the siege that devastated Mariupol, a port city of half a million people, on May 20 Russian forces obtained that the fighters, still resisting them at the huge Azovtsal steel mills, laid down their arms. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, about 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azov Regiment, which Moscow calls “Nazis,” surrendered, figures that Kyiv has not confirmed.

There are no holidays for Mariupol students, but lessons in the Russian language

Russian authorities have decided to cancel the school summer vacation to prepare Mariupol students for the Russian school programme, a Ukrainian official in the city said Thursday, May 26. According to Petro Andryushenko, advisor to the mayor of this port where the last Ukrainian fighters went in recent days, “the occupiers announced the extension of the school year until September 1,”.

Throughout the summer, children will receive lessons in Russian language and literature, lessons in history and mathematics in Russian. “The main goal is to de-Ukrainize and prepare for the new school year according to the Russian curriculum,” he said. But he added that the Russian “occupiers” had so far failed to find enough teachers, “only 53 teachers for nine schools,” he said. He did not specify the number of students affected.

Spreading propaganda in the streets of Mariupol

This is not the only tactic adopted by the Russian invaders. While the residents of Mariupol have spent three months away from the news due to a lack of electricity, Russian troops are now driving propaganda trucks through the streets. The latter holds large screens where Russian information is broadcast.

according to Watchman, government television news reports and political talk shows broadcast with expert testimonies supporting the invasion. British media reports that “the attempt to plant Russian propaganda in the devastated city is part of a larger effort to pacify and integrate captured cities such as Mariupol despite Vladimir Putin’s earlier assurances that Russia was not seeking to occupy any new territories in Ukraine.”

Moreover, change is also taking place within the streets themselves since the beginning of May since Ukrainian road signs have been removed to make way for signs written in Russian.

Facilitate obtaining Russian passports

always according to WatchmanVladimir Putin signed a law on Wednesday (May 25) that will speed up applications for citizenship in Mariupol, as well as in Ukraine’s partially government-controlled Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. This decision was denounced as a “passport”, an attempt to annex the territories by de facto filling them with Russian citizens.

“The illegal issuance of passports (…) is a flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the rules and principles of international humanitarian law,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.

See also on The HuffPost: Total in Russia? We asked the contributors about the invasion of Ukraine

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