Russians bring in rogue states for show trial of Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol

23 August, 03:35 PM
Occupied Mariupol (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Occupied Mariupol (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Russian invading forces are intending to involve representatives in Belarus and Syria in their illegal show trial of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Mariupol, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko, told radio NV on Aug 22.

- Tell us, what is known about the preparation of the trial of our defenders in Mariupol, what is happening in the city now?

- Preparations are ongoing, unfortunately, not much information is getting out. After the photos, videos and all the details of the trial were published, the Russians greatly increased the security of the city, they don’t even allow anyone to pass nearby, let alone take pictures. However, what is known today is that, yes, the building of our chamber Philharmonic is almost completely prepared. There are hangars for paddy wagons, all of this is finished. Premises are being prepared in the Mariupol pre-trial detention center to keep our defenders there for the period when the trial in Mariupol will be held. We also confirm that Denis Pushilin (the head of the so-called “DPR”) said that it is very interesting that Russia, Belarus and, of course, Syria agreed to act as arbitrators in this sad show – this is a really interesting fact.

Video of day

According to our information, before that, Russia refused to participate and wasn’t supposed to get its hands dirty with this trial, understanding its consequences and the international response to it. As for the dates: no date has been announced, except that it should start before the end of August. We talked about this from the very beginning – they are so afraid that there will be some kind of sabotage groups, provocations, attempts to recapture our defenders, so the date will be announced at the last minute. There will be no loud announcements a week ahead. So, there is no doubt that they will really hold it, at least they are preparing very hard for this. We’re monitoring the situation for now.

- Do we know why Russia decided to change its position and take part in this trial?

- There is no exact information, but we can assume, taking into account Russia’s actions in Donetsk Oblast. In fact, we see that there is no significant, even minimal advancement of the borders along the front line of Donetsk Oblast. We also shouldn’t exclude the events in Crimea. All of this delt a serious blow to the image of Russia within itself, as well as to the Russian leadership. That is why such a trial, and at least Russia's participation in it, should divert attention from the realities at the front lines and encourage a rise in approval ratings.

That is because this will be presented as a victory. We know that the Azov battalion is the biggest horror story that exists in Russia today. And it should look like a win, because they are building a direct analogy with the Nuremberg Trials. It is precisely this analogy of winners and losers that they are trying to build in the media, and for this, Russia's participation is needed, apparently.

We remember that the so-called "DPR" still has the death penalty. Unfortunately, we have no doubt what sentences our defenders get. Therefore, it will be some kind of revenge on the part of Russia, which will be publicly perceived by the Russians as a win and revenge. We do not see another explanation regarding why they should do this. It is clear why Belarus is doing it – because Russia is doing it, so they have no choice.

— You posted a video on your Telegram channel showing how shelled houses are being demolished in Mariupol. Are the Russians trying to hide their crimes in this way?

No, why would they hide crimes? The whole of Mariupol is like a crime, you can't hide anything there. This is part of creating the illusion that life is returning to Mariupol, “Russia is flourishing here,” etc. People have a lot of problems that have not been resolved and are unlikely to be resolved before winter, like accommodation. So, the construction contractors, which Russia brought there, don't know what to do and as a result they choose to at least demolish houses, to pretend that something is being done. This is the part of the informational influence on Mariupol residents and Russian citizens about how Mariupol supposedly is being restored.

There is no purpose of concealing crimes there, they already hid everything they could. But not the volumes that are in Mariupol, it is impossible. There are still a lot of non-exhumed corpses on the streets, which no one deals with. Only large burial grounds were taken care of, there were many victims in those buildings that were demolished. They took them out and buried them in a mass grave. All their other actions are just creating an illusion.

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