Mariupolthe President of the Federation of Greek Associations of Ukraine Alexandra Protsenko has voiced an appeal to Greeks around the world urging the community to mobilise.

Ms Protsenko send out a public letter from the underground shelter she is finding refuge calling the Russian invasion and further acts of war a “genocide of the Ukrainian people and the Greeks of Ukraine by the Russian Federation”.

The President of Mariupol’s Greek Community cited the murder of expatriates and destruction in Greek villages, asking the world and Greeks everywhere to push for the organisation of one ‘Green corridor’ for the evacuation of the Greeks from settlements “surrounded by the enemy and the provision of humanitarian aid. Dear brothers and sisters, compatriots.”

“We appeal to all Greeks in the world, but mainly to Greeks living in Greece to learn the truth from a direct source. But not the truth you hear from the Russian propaganda that has such noble intentions, hidden behind the name of the liberation movement of the Russian Federation, but the truth as it is, that is, the genocide of the Ukrainian people, the genocide of its Greeks Of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

“Let’s say things by name,” she added. “This is overt and obvious terrorism.”

Stressing that Ukraine and the Greeks of Ukraine are going through very difficult times today due to Russia’s armed attack, she highlighted that the war actually  “began in 2014 and escalated on February 24, 2022,” she explained that the predicament not only threatens the unique culture of the Greeks of Azov and the languages ​​of the Urums and Rumi; (77,500 Greek expatriates (rumey and urum) live in the Donetsk region) but freedom and peace all around the world.

The letter continued as follows:

“As a result of the hostilities and the temporary occupation of certain territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since 2014, the 13 settlements in the Donetsk region founded and inhabited by Greeks from the Azov were found under occupation: Starobeseve, Rosladol, Rosladol , Novolaspa and others. After the beginning of the great Russian invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, the hostilities continued around the Greek capital of the Greeks of the Azov, Mariupol, as well as in Volnovacha, the town of Sartana, the villages of Bougas, Granitka, Granitne, Staro Staromlinivka. Currently, these settlements, where more than 15,000 Greek expatriates live, are surrounded by the enemy without the possibility of evacuation.

Mariupol has been experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe for a week now. The city is surrounded by Russian troops without water, electricity, heating or communications. Efforts to evacuate civilians, as well as provide humanitarian aid, were thwarted by the Russian side. On March 8, a six-year-old girl was found, who, unlike her mother, survived the bombing of her house by Russian forces, but died of dehydration under the rubble of a house. On March 9, the Russian armed forces struck a maternity hospital and a children’s hospital in Mariupol, killing 17 people, while the information about the victims is still being clarified. These are just the last examples of the humanitarian catastrophe that has flooded Mariupol and its inhabitants, of different ethnic identities, and destroys the unique cultural and historical role of the city in preserving the culture of the Greeks of Azov.

The town of Sartana, home to more than 10,000 Greeks, a leading Romanian language center with a unique museum of Greek history and ethnography in the Azov region, has been hit hard by Russian forces, injuring civilians and destroying a hospital and 90% of the residential area. The locals woke up at 3:30 a.m. on February 27, 2022 by powerful rocket attacks. Within an hour, 8 rockets were fired by the attacker. The locals ran out of their houses in their underwear and pajamas – and tried to hide in the basements. Those who risked driving to the field were blown up by a minefield. The head of the Greek Association of Sartana, Natalia Papakitsa, transported, thank God, the children to Mariupol with 2 buses. But at the moment, neither they nor other residents of Mariupol are able to move away from the city. Information on dead and injured is clarified.

The town of Volnovacha with a population of over 21,000 inhabitants (15,000 of whom are Greek Rumai) was destroyed by 95%. More than 505 people (women, children, retirees, people with disabilities) were removed: on 05.03 – 244 people, on 06.03 – 261 people.

The village of Granitne, home to more than 3,600 Urum Greeks, has been 95% destroyed. The village of Bougas (1,400 Greek Rumai) was 70% destroyed. The village of Chermalik (1,900 Greek Urums) was 70% destroyed. The village of Starognativka (2,100 ethnic Greeks: Urum, Rumei) was 60% destroyed. The village of Staromlinivka (2,400 Greek Urum) was 90% destroyed. It is not possible to evacuate the inhabitants of the area, as these settlements are surrounded by the enemy and are subject to constant bombardment and air raids by the Russian Federation. The Russian side is not negotiating a “green corridor” (for the evacuation of residents and the organization of humanitarian aid).

Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine, which began with the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula on February 20, 2014 and certain territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and escalated on February 24, 2022, could lead to the natural disaster of the Greeks. of Azov, and therefore of the unique culture with their own languages.

We ask and appeal to the entire world community, to all Greeks around the world to react. We ask for your help in organizing a “green corridor” for the evacuation of Greeks from settlements surrounded by the enemy and the provision of humanitarian aid.

We believe that your support will help save the Greeks of Ukraine and the Ukrainians surrounded by the enemy, will give us all the strength to defend the independence, territorial integrity of Ukraine and victory.

Long live Ukraine!

Long live Greece!

Yours sincerely,

The Greeks of Ukraine.”