”I carried out the order.” The mayor of Mariupol explained why he left the city at the beginning of the war

Sofiia Telishevska, Oksana Kovalenko

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko left the city on February 27, as special services reported that more than 40 members of the sabotage and reconnaissance groups had arrived with heavy weapons.

"When I received such information, I consulted with the head of the Oblast Military Administration and with people from the special services. They said that I had to leave Mariupol for the night so that I would not be captured. It was February 27. I left. And the next day I could not enter the city, because the sabotage and reconnaissance group was detained just 100 meters in front of us, which, I think, would have opened fire directly on us if it had not been detained. And a little further there was a tank battle. There is a protocol, there is my report that I could not come to Mariupol, everything is recorded," the mayor explained.

According to him, he left the city by order, but the leader who carried out Boychenkoʼs orders remained in Mariupol.

"By the way, one of the leaders stayed in the city for a long time, carried out all my orders, and left. And now, what do you think is happening to this leader? He needs to pass a polygraph, go through all the interrogations so that we — both our government and our special forces — understand that everything is fine, that he was not recruited," Boychenko added.