The Consul of Greece continues to be in the besieged Mariupol, for security reasons he closed himself in the OSCE shelter in the midst of hostilities in the destroyed city.
Over the past 24 hours, Mariupol has been especially hard hit, fighting unfolded within the city. Among the civilians who have not been able to get out with the help of humanitarian corridors, there are Greeks, as well as the Greek consul Manolis Androulakis, who, along with the OSCE staff, is in a shelter.
The diplomat’s family is asking the Greek authorities to find the most convenient way to repatriate him, as the consul’s life, they stress, is in danger. According to the latest reports, he is in good health and relatively safe, they have food and water, but it is impossible to go out into the mined streets where they are shooting. Consul’s sister Amalia Andrulaki says:
“He has food, drinking water. There is no running water, no electricity. There is no evacuation plan. Trying to walk through streets full of mines is risky. There seems to be no way out at this stage. We scream with all our might that what is happening is terrible. The war must stop.”
The Greek authorities are considering possible scenarios for rescuing the diplomat, but carrying out any operation is fraught with high risk. One option that is already being tried is for Red Cross representatives to come to the house to hand over the necessary things to the trapped people.
Communication with Mariupol is currently difficult, there is no electricity in the city, writes cnn.gr. On Thursday, the Greek consul in Mariupol spoke with his family and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said that he was feeling well. Androulaki calls on the Greek authorities to act immediately:
“There are no winners in a war, only losers. We are excited. He was there at the end of January to help the Greeks because the Greek element is strong there. My brother would not leave the Greeks, and let us regret it for now. My brother has a deep sense of duty. He is a pacifist and grew up with a book in his hands. He is multilingual. We are doing everything we can to make sure he comes back safe and sound. We pray for him and thank everyone for their support, but it doesn’t help. We need to find a way for him to return.”
The father of the Greek consul in Mariupol, Giorgos Androulakis, shared what his son told him about the conditions in which they endure the war while in the shelter:
“In the morning we talked for several minutes. The OSCE building, designed as a shelter, is located a little far from the city, is fenced and considered safe. Nearby is an old mosque, which is a landmark. He told me yesterday that the shots were coming. Some who went out into the street saw the ruined city. They have food brought to them by the police. There are about 100 people inside the shelter, Ukrainian OSCE staff, many of them with their families, even a child who was born six days before they entered the shelter. They have water and food for 5 days. They have no electricity, the room is lit by candles. The place is spacious and organized. They help each other. Yesterday, Mr. Dendias informed me about the plan to take my son out. I thank him for this and for the kind words he said about my son.”
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mariupol:
“Greece, as repeatedly emphasized, advocates the creation of humanitarian corridors from the cities of Ukraine, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, in order to ensure the supply of the civilian population, as well as the possibility of their movement to safer areas.
For our part, we continue to watch with great concern the dramatic events, especially in the Mariupol region, where the Greek element has lived for centuries and Consul General Manolis Androulakis is still present. We call on everyone to respect humanitarian law and avoid attacks on civilians. Greece is making every effort in this direction.”