The city-martyr, city-fortress, city-hero. Today, the Ukrainian city of Mariupol is discussed by politicians and ordinary people around the world. The Azov Sea port became the symbol of the desperate military resistance under the heavy bombardment and shelling by the Russian hordes, and at the same time the reflection of the severe humanitarian catastrophe. The whole of humanity was shocked by the news on the maternity house destroyed by shelling, and the theater of drama serving as a shelter for civilians, under the rubble of which 300 persons died.
Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in 2014, Mariupol has had a key strategic importance in the Russian-Ukrainian war. During two months, from April 13 to June 13, 2014, the city was controlled by the pro-Russian terrorists. Even after liberation, the danger of the terrorist attacks remained high. On January 24, 2015, the city was attacked by multiple rocket launchers. 29 citizens were killed. Despite this, Mariupol became the symbol of the recovered Donetsk region.
However, after the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, it is often compared to Warsaw in 1944 and the Syrian city of Aleppo in 2016. The Russians turned the flourishing city quarters into the ruins, destroying house after house. The peaceful residents of Mariupol were blocked in the city where it's impossible to live, begging the world for help.
"... We ask the global community to recognize the actions of the Russian Federation in Mariupol as the genocide of the Ukrainian people. We ask the global community to unite its efforts for deblocking the international humanitarian aid for Mariupol... We emphasize that Mariupol was, is and will be the Ukrainian city…". From the message of the Mariupol City Council to the global community.
The exhibition is based on the photos by the journalist Viacheslav Tverdokhlib, the native of Mariupol who lived in the basements during the blockade, and made video and photo shoots. On the 23rd day of the unimaginable difficulties, he left the city by foot. Despite deadly risk, he saved all the materials. The last photo was taken on March 22. Each new day of the blockade caused more and more horrible suffering of the Mariupol residents. 90% of the city is ruined. The siege continues.