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Excavator Rips Up Mariupol Square As Russia Begins ‘Renovation’ Of Obliterated City

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a "special military operation."

An excavator reportedly ripped up a square in bombed-out Mariupol as Russia begins its “renovation” of the obliterated Ukrainian city by stealing its infrastructure and sending it to Donetsk.

The images were obtained from Petr Andryushchenko, reportedly an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, as well as from Anton Herashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian government and a former Deputy Minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and from the Office of Strategic Communications of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Andryushchenko said: “Looting everything. Loud statements about the ‘renovation of the square near the Drama Theater’ unexpectedly turned into banal theft.

“Taking into account that the square itself miraculously remained intact, the occupiers and Donetsk Gauleiter finish it off more effectively than bombs.”

A Gauleiter was a type of regional Nazi leader. It was the third-highest rank in the Nazi political system after the Reichsleiter and the Fuhrer.

Andryushchenko added: “The children’s playground was dismantled – it was taken away and is already being installed in the center of Donetsk. Now it is the turn of granite tiles. They tear it down with excavators, load it and take it away in the direction of Donetsk.

The images show an excavator apparently removing parts of the square near the theatre in the city of Mariupol, in Ukraine. (@andriyshTime/Zenger)

“In the near future, we will see a renovated street in Donetsk at the expense of Mariupol taxpayers. Medical equipment, ice skating rink, fountain, children’s playgrounds, and here are the tiles… No words.”

We contacted the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense for further comment, as well as the Russian Defense Ministry, but haven’t received a reply at the time of writing.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation.” July 6 marks the 133rd day of the invasion.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 6, Russia had lost about 36,500 personnel, 1,600 tanks, 3,789 armored combat vehicles, 812 artillery units, 247 multiple launch rocket systems, 107 air defense systems, 217 warplanes, 187 helicopters, 664 drones, 153 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,648 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 65 units of special equipment.

Russian forces have hit targets across Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region with the local governor urging 350,000 civilians to evacuate.

The images show an excavator apparently removing parts of the square near the theatre in the city of Mariupol, in Ukraine. (@andriyshTime/Zenger)

Heavy shelling has been reported in the city of Sloviansk, in the Donetsk region, with at least two people killed and seven injured.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pushing his advantage after his forces captured the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, in the eastern Luhansk Oblast region, ordering Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to continue the offensive.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukrainian forces would retake the city “thanks to the increase in the supply of modern weapons.”

Luhansk’s regional governor Serhiy Haidai said that Ukraine’s troops have now moved to new fortified positions. He pleaded for more weapons from Ukraine’s allies to help fight Russia’s current advantage.

Haidai also said that the battle for Lysychansk had forced Russia to commit troops that could have been fighting on other fronts, giving Ukraine time to reinforce the Donetsk region. Ukrainian troops have set up new defensive lines in the region, where they are in control of major cities, with plans to launch a counter-offensive in the southern part of the country.

President Zelensky is negotiating with Turkey and the UN in a bid to secure guarantees for his country’s grain exports. The move comes after Turkish authorities detained a Russian cargo ship carrying grain allegedly stolen from Ukraine. The ship is said to contain over 7,000 tons of grain that Russian officials said would be sent to “friendly” countries.

Ukraine has now also asked Turkey to investigate three additional Russian ships that it says transported stolen grain.

The leader of the Russian-backed administration in the occupied Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, Yevgeny Balitsky, has said they plan to sell Ukraine’s grain to Middle Eastern countries.

Canada has become the first NATO country to formally ratify Sweden’s and Finland’s accession into the Alliance.

Finland and Sweden completed accession talks at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Monday, July 4. NATO said: “Both countries formally confirmed their willingness and ability to meet the political, legal and military obligations and commitments of NATO membership.”

NATO’s 30 member countries have sent the Nordic countries’ membership bids to their parliaments for approval.

NATO has appointed Army General Christopher Cavoli as its new Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He speaks Russian and has a master’s degree from Yale in Russian studies.

Latvia has said that it is reinstating compulsory military service as a result of growing tension with Russia over President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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