ERR in Ukraine: Life Goes On in Mariupol, Pro-Kyiv Sentiments Not Clearcut
ERR reporter Igor Taro reports from Mariupol that life is going on as normal and says many Ukrainians remain skeptical about the Kyiv government.
Taro said the mood in the city was calm, with children coming and going from school today as in other places in Europe.
"But there was an incident in the past 24 hours where a Ukrainian border guard speedboat was shot at and some were wounded. The speedboat was sunk," said Taro.
There has been no change for now in the separatist positions several dozen kilometers away, or in the Russian forces that initially seized Novoazovsk.
Taro said there was no exodus from Mariupol currently.
"A few days ago there was a larger flow of people west but the flow is not so great yesterday and today. It can't be said that the city is incredibly empty or that many stores are closed."
Mariupol is about the size of Tallinn, and is an industrial port city with two big metal plants, both of which are operating, Taro said.
There is a major checkpoint on the eastern outskirts, he added.
The Ukrainians he talked to said they do not trust Kyiv 100 percent, he said.
"I have made the interesting observation in talking to people in Kyiv or even ticket takers on trains. Different types of people have in common a skepticism regarding the central government and it can be felt on both sides. And those fighting for Ukrainian independence are doing so behind masks for some reason," Taro said. "When I asked a volunteer why he was hiding his face, he said they can't totally trust the local power structures and whether their families will be protected."