The Ukrainian and English signs being removed.

NEWS: Pro-Kremlin separatists erect Russian road signs in Mariupol

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Pro-Moscow separatists were pictured this week taking down Ukrainian and English road signs outside of the besieged city of Mariupol — and replacing them with Russian ones.

The Ministry of Transport of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) — a Russia-backed breakaway state in eastern Ukraine — said in a statement Thursday that it has been changing signage in “liberated cities” in the contested region, where some of the fiercest fighting is taking place.

The agency released photos of workers in orange vests taking down and carrying away a sign that used to greet motorists entering the now-leveled city of Mariupol in Ukrainian and English.

A photo that was shared separately on DNR’s Telegram channel showed a work crew installing a new road sign, with the name Mariupol written only in Russian.

“It used to be Маріуполь [Ukrainian spelling] – now it’s Мариуполь [Russian spelling],” a caption read.

The Ukrainian and English signs are removed.
Donetsk People Republic Ministry
Russian troop in fighting position near the Azovstal steel plant.
Russian troops in fighting position near the Azovstal steel plant
REUTERS
A crew installs a Russian road sign.
A crew installs a Russian road sign.
Donetsk People Republic Ministry

The separatist state’s transportation workers also have swapped road signs in the nearby towns and villages of Kremenyovka, Kasyanovka and Pervomayskoe, signaling a regime change.

“Work to change road signs across liberated territories will continue,” the Ministry of Transport stated.

Denis Pushilin, head of the DNR, wrote that locals wanted to see proof that “Russia has come back here.”

Residents chat outside an apartment building damaged by shelling in the embattled city of Mariupol.
Residents chat outside an apartment building damaged by shelling in the embattled city of Mariupol.
ZUMAPRESS.com
Service members of pro-Russian troops fire from a tank during fighting near the Azovstal steel plant.
Service members of pro-Russian troops fire from a tank during fighting near the Azovstal steel plant.
REUTERS
Russian serviceman walks on an armored personnel carrier.
Russian serviceman walks on an armored personnel carrier.
REUTERS
Smoke rises above a plant of Azovstal plant.
Smoke rises above a plant of Azovstal plant.
REUTERS

Also this week, Pushilin and a senior Russian official awarded medals “For the Liberation of Mariupol.”

“The liberation of this city is a joint victory for the armies of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian Federation,” Pushilin bragged on his social media page.

After more than 10 weeks of war, Mariupol is now almost entirely under Russian control, with the sprawling Azovstal plant remaining as the sole pocket of resistance.

The Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol being shelled by Russian forces.
The Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol being shelled by Russian forces.
ZUMAPRESS.com
Ukrainian forces continue to defend the plant amid near-constant bombardment.
Ukrainian forces continue to defend the plant amid near-constant bombardment.
AP

Ukrainian forces have been defending the site for weeks and repelling Russian ground attacks under near-constant bombardment.

In recent days, nearly 500 civilians, among them women and children, who had been hiding at the steelworks facility have been evacuated to safety with the help of the UN, but the Ukrainian soldiers have stayed behind.

The wife of Azov Regiment commander Denys Prokopenko said her husband and his comrades will not lay down their arms and plan to “stand till the end.”



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