The leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said he plans to turn the destroyed city of Mariupol into a “resort town”, Russia’s state-controlled TASS news agency reported.
After lighting the Eternal Flame at the city’s Victims of Fascism memorial in the Primorsky district, Pushilin stated "Russia is here forever, and you are finally home. Now this is the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic forever. No one will take it away from us.”
"We have strength, we have opportunities, we have the support of the biggest beautiful country — Russia," Pushilin said. "The task is to make Mariupol a resort city, which has not been possible to do before."
An advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andriushchenko, said Russian forces had resumed attacks on the Azovstal steel plan after a UN convoy had left the Donetsk region.
"If Azovstal is not restored, then we will make a resort town," Pushilin stated.
"As soon as we reach the constitutional borders of the Donetsk People's Republic, these are the borders of the former Donetsk region, we will make the decision ... Now the main task is to liberate all of our lands, to start rebuilding cities," Pushilin stated.
Andriushchenko wrote on Telegram that outsiders were bused into Mariupol to take part in the parade. “Occupiers are in place. Collaborators on site. The only ones who are not there are Mariupol residents,” he wrote.