Mariupol and St. Petersburg
[Image: the Mayor highlights the district map and reconstruction efforts.]
The Mayor of Mariupol took an interview with Mike Jones (iEarlGrey), his friend and their wonderful translator Marsha. The Mayor described the processes of rebuilding Mariupol. Behind him is a large chart identifying public works for schools, kindergartens, hospitals, water purification plants, electrical distribution stations and other core public infrastructure.
He is asked how this is possible? The overwhelming funding is coming from the Russian Federation's national budget. He speaks of two fronts, the military front and the construction front. I felt a sense of "Russian" in this. The classic line is that a Russian goes to the toilet with a plan. Here the plan is to make toilets in warm buildings.
A sense of levity arrives when he proclaims that two regions of Russia have been also providing some of their funds. Saint Petersburg is one, and the two are now sister cities. The Mayor of Mariupol remarks on how it must have been for the two thousand children who visited their sister city last June. They traveled from a city with almost nothing which was largely destroyed to a city of wealth. The experience for these children must become a signatory moment in their lives.
Refugees from Ukraine have flowed both west and east. Russia has used her extensive land area and civil infrastructure to facilitate the resettlement of the refugees they received. In this "sister city" cooperation we see another element of this largess. Giving Mariupol the gift of Saint Petersburg as a sister city is significant. If one asked persons from Europe to name three cities in Russia they would say Moscow, Saint Petersburg and either Stalingrad (now Volgograd) or Vladivostok. Saint Petersburg (formerly Petrograd and Leningrad) is the fourth largest populated city in western Eurasia after Istanbul, Moscow and London.
I suspect that St. Petersburg has chosen wisely. When peace returns and Mariupol is rebuilt the city will be a wonderful holiday location for the families of St. Petersburg.
The interview concludes with a discussion of the industrial facilities of Mariupol, including the Azovstal steel works. Russian industrial engineers have already visited the damaged plant and plans are afoot for how it and Mariupol's other industrial facilities can be rebuilt and re-purposed as technical parks.
The Mayor's dream is that all of the building complexes in Mariupol have water, electricity and heating. His next wish is for these industrial complexes to provide work for the city's people. One can sense that this Mayor feels the needs of his damaged city. He understands its history. He speaks of a new era for this historic town.
He is most elevated when speaking of the re-creation of a Saint Petersburg tradition. At the end of the school year in their sister city there is a celebration with yachts on the water with scarlet sails. This was reproduced in Mariupol with the scarlet sails sent from St. Petersburg. The graduating and younger students sailed on the Azov sea to celebrate with the scarlet sails of their sister city.
The Mayor of Mariupol - Rebuilding A Destroyed And Devastated City, iEarlGrey and associates, youtube, uploaded 2023-01-01
Dmitri Shostakovich - 'Leningrad' Symphony No 7, uploaded to youtube 2014-05-27
Д. Шостакович - Симфония № 7 ("Ленинградская"), дирижер Антон Лубченко
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