Mariupol about to fall – its mayor has vanished

A video linked in my last post shows what crimes the fascists were capable of committing when they went into Mariupol in 2014 with tanks to take control of the city-port from its residents. This does not augur well for those living there when the time comes for the war-criminals, backed by western media, to leave. It will not be long.

Getting an accurate news story from our press or TV stations is nigh impossible – because if it does not fit the Russia-bad-Ukraine-good narrative it will never be published or broadcast. Yesterday, 13 March 2022, there came a Kiev report, which according to western media and Wikipedia is from the mayor of Mariupol, stating that 22 bombs had been dropped on the port, and that 2,187 residents were now dead.

In fact reading the report shows it does not say it is from the mayor but from the city council authorities. Actually it’s from a Telegram post claiming to be the Mariupol Rada, a site replete with AZOV posts and quite unstable. As I accessed the source link it disappeared. However the AZOV video from that site’s own page shows it to have been soldiers giving food-aid to a few of the city residents, demonstrating that nothing in war is simply black and white, and all AZOV soldiers are not rabid fascists. When it was filmed is not known.

The deputy mayor of Mariupol, Sergei Orlov, who made the outrageous statement, unable to be verified, and broadcast by the BBC last Thursday, said that at least 1,170 people had been killed. So in 3-4 days, if either account is to be believed, the number of dead has doubled. Few with intelligence would give this credibility .

So is Sergei Orlov actually the deputy mayor of Mariupol? Where is he now and where was he when he gave the interview? And where is the mayor, Vadim Boychenko?

In answer to the first question, yes, Sergei Orlov is deputy mayor of Mariupol. He is one of seven deputy mayors of the city, and not even second in line to the elected mayor, Boychenko. Where Orlov was when he made that statement is anybody’s guess.

It is unlikely that he is any longer in Mariupol for two reasons. He would hardly be kow-towing to the western agenda in a city which is about fall to the separatists – backed by Russian forces – and where the majority of residents are pro-Russian and Russian-speaking. The other reason is logistical in that reliable communications from Mariupol are virtually non-existent. Separating fact from propaganda is no easy task.

The intrigue is darkly fascinating. Perhaps we can throw a modicum of light on what has happened to the mayor.

The mayor and the oligarch

The Mayor of Mariupol is Vadim Boychenko. A former locksmith and train-driver he surprised a few outside the city when he was elected mayor in 2015 with a massive 73% of the vote. He repeated this victory in 2020 and is now running for his second term. Shortly after the first election his wife, Galina, took a plum post at Metinvest Holdings in the finance department.

It is claimed by his opponents that Boychenko is in the pocket of Rinat Akhmetov, an oligarch who owns Metinvest and who is said to be the richest man in Ukraine. It is further claimed that the personal wealth of Boychenko is filtered through his wife’s bank accounts.

Certainly the friendship between Boychenko and Akhmetov seems close, if their football and basketball challenges on 16 February are any indication. Neither showed any extraordinary talent for football and only the goalkeeper, another deputy mayor called Aleksandr Kochurin had any potential. He kept the ball out of the net 9 times out of 10.

Rinat Akhmetov (left) and mayor, Vadim Boychenko, trying their skills at basketball, 16 February 2022

After these two exhibitions of mediocrity Akhmetov told a local newspaper he had visited Mariupol to share the tensions of the city seeking a common goal for “strong and successful enterprises, a strong, peaceful, beautiful and successful Mariupol, a strong, peaceful, unique, beautiful and successful Ukraine.” He lives abroad and apparently has a mansion in London.

Eight days after this publicity stunt, Russia felt there was no option but to try and protect its interests in the region, while Akhmetov kept his options open by making a donation to the Kiev government equivalent to 5 million dollars, but in Hryvnia. It is what oligarchs do. They buy favours. Akhmetov also funded the Yanukovich government of Ukraine.

Mayor Boychenko, has never criticised the new republics, or Russia, much to the chagrin of Kiev. So where is he now? And why did the BBC not interview him instead of one of his deputies?

According to a Russian source, NewsFront, written in English, he fled last week. That same source says there was no bombing of the hospital last week, that the hospital had been vacant for some time, nobody was killed, and the whole performance had been staged. And journalists there know this.

Last night one of my news sources suggested that it will not be long before Mariupol is returned to its people.

And, who knows, next year Rinat Akhmetov might be the proud owner of Chelsea Football Club.

Cover picture from the 2020 election showing Boychenko and Akhmetov. Source: BКоллаж – Евгений Адаменков/

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