“Mariupole is not a ghost town. This town is functioning. There is electricity, heating. There is hot water and internet, everything is there. People live their lives here,” Kerper said. He added that there are probably no more people left in the city who do not want to live among Russians.
Ukrainian media and officials expressed the opinion that Kerper’s report gives the impression that the majority of the city’s residents are pro-Russian, and also talks about the city’s reconstruction, without emphasizing that it was destroyed by the occupiers.
After the start of this scandal, ZDF published a statement admitting that
the journalist had chosen the misleading wording “the city is functioning”.
“However, just highlighting this one quote does not give the full impression. Armin Kerper is most likely describing how Russia is trying to create an impression of normality and restoration by using significant financial resources,” the TV channel said.
According to the UN, Mariupol was 90% destroyed after the Russian army invaded. Ukrainian authorities estimated that at least 25,000 people died in the fighting for Mariupol.
ZDF report from Mariupol on January 30 in the program “Today in Europe”