Greece announced on Saturday that six members of the Greek community near Mariupol Ukraine have been killed by Russian fire and six others have been injured.
The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that two Greeks were killed by bombing from Russian aircraft in the village of Sartana. Later, Greek public television ERT reported that four more Greeks were killed in the village of Buhas, north of Mariupol.
Major development tonight on the southern front:
Russian forces are rumored to have launched a massive armored spearhead: bypassing coastal cities like #Berdiansk in attempt to surround #Mariupol and complete land bridge with occupied #Crimea.pic.twitter.com/ua3NWihPDv
— The Intel Crab (@IntelCrab) February 26, 2022
The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing its horror at the incident:
“Greece expresses its horror and unequivocally condemns the bombing of civilians by a Russian aircraft on the outskirts of the village of Sartana earlier today, which resulted in the death of two expatriates and the injury of six others, including a child.
Eκφράζουμε την οδύνη μας για τον θάνατο δύο ομογενών, καθώς και τον τραυματισμό άλλων έξι, μεταξύ των οποίων και ενός παιδιού στα περίχωρα του χωριού Σαρτανά της Ουκρανίας, όπως και τον αποτροπιασμό μας για τον βομβαρδισμό αμάχων από ρωσικό αεροσκάφος. https://t.co/o9C71U3Nt2
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) February 26, 2022
The village of Sartana is located on the banks of river Kalmius in Donetsk oblast, Ukraine. It’s administratively a part of the Kalmiuskyi Raion of the city of Mariupol.
The tanks of the occupiers have circled #Berdyansk and are heading towards #Mariupol. pic.twitter.com/jwsIoORzH0
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 26, 2022
Rockets hit the epicenter of the Greek community in Ukraine
A residential area of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine was also hit by shelling on Thursday as residents worried that Russian forces will try to take the strategic port city.
There are more than 100,000 Greeks living in the wider region of the Ukrainian city.
On Friday Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that Greece is ready to “warmly welcome” members of the Greek community in Ukraine and Mariupol, in particular, should they want to leave.
“Greece will stand by the Greek communities in Ukraine and especially that in Mariupol. If there are Greeks who want to leave Ukraine we will warmly welcome them,” he said.
Earlier in February, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens to leave Ukraine amid fears of a Russian invasion, joining many nations around the globe that have already withdrawn citizens and diplomatic staff.
Greece expresses full support to Ukraine’s President Zelensky
Earlier on Saturday Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to express Greece’s full support.
Government sources said that Mitsotakis expressed Greece’s support for stricter European Union sanctions on Russia, and said he was prepared to provide help to Ukraine in any sectors it requests. He also mentioned that the Greek Consulates General in Odessa and Mariupol continue to operate.
Just spoke with President @ZelenskyyUa. Full support and solidarity to Ukraine and its people in these tragic moments.
Greece has from the beginning supported tough sanctions against Russia for this blatant violation of international legality.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) February 26, 2022
The sources said Zelensky thanked Mitsotakis for Greece’s stance and his personal one on behalf of Ukraine and called for continued support within the EU framework.
The Ministry of Health is preparing shipment of medical supplies, it was made known.