The intense military stage of russia’s war against Ukraine has been going on for more than a month and a half. Our cities and their citizens suffer daily from shelling and war crimes of the rf troops.
This spring, Transparency International Ukraine planned to congratulate our Mariupol on the second consecutive victory in the Transparency and Accountability Rankings. Over the years, we have seen its rapid growth and development: city authorities and the public have jointly implemented good municipal governance practices, set ambitious goals, and achieved them.
Over the past 5 years, Mariupol has become a model for many Ukrainian cities, without exaggeration. Ukraine and the world have made many efforts for the city to develop and become attractive for investment. International companies and partners believed in and supported Mariupol — since 2019, it has managed to attract more than EUR 200 mln of investment.
Mariupol residents called it the City of Opportunities. These days, russia is turning it into a mass grave.
Today, a modern and progressive city, which was supposed to receive rewards, receives bombs, shelling, hunger, thirst, and death. The criminal actions of the occupiers are aimed not only at the civilian residents of Mariupol, but also at all efforts that have been invested in the development.
The occupying army has already destroyed more than 80% of the entire (no, not the strategic, as they say) infrastructure. One of the russian missiles was dropped on the maternity hospital, the other — at the Drama Theatre, near which there was a giant sign “CHILDREN.” Thousands of civilians were found dead, thousands were forcibly deported to russia, the fate of many remains unknown. Mariupol residents were to celebrate the triumph of progress — instead, they mourn the dead and hide in bomb shelters without food, medicine, and drinking water.
A similar fate befell many blooming cities and towns of Ukraine: Bucha, Hostomel, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv, Melitopol… Over the past 5 years of the Transparent Cities program, we have observed an unprecedented level of development of municipalities. In cities, online queues were introduced in kindergartens, modern geoportals were launched, and the necessary infrastructure was built. But russia does not care, it is guided by a bloodthirsty principle: having failed to capture the city — destroy it. The occupier erases painstaking years of labor, destroys human destinies and the future.
Now the world must recognize that the war in Ukraine is a revenge for its blossoming progressive cities, for the reforms successfully carried out, for the decision to be a democratic Western state, and not a gray puppet of post-soviet authoritarian russia.
We call on to put pressure on russia to end the war as soon as possible:
introduce tough sanctions, force businesses and companies to leave the rf, isolate it economically!
we need to be able to protect our cities and our warriors, to be able to close humanitarian needs, and the capacity to care for people who are left homeless.
Help us not to lose all the gains and development of our cities!