February 18, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
The new mayor of Debaltsevo is Greek in sixth generation
A former commandant of Yenakievo has to restore the work of emergency services and arrange payments of retirement and social benefits in a short amount of time.
New authorities are focused on restoring peaceful life in Debaltsevo. The head of DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko has signed a decree on the formation of a special commission to restore the city. It consists of the Minister of Emergency Situations of the Republic, representatives of government agencies and a fresh face – Alexander Afendikov, appointed by the head of DPR to the position of the mayor of Debaltsevo. LifeNews managed to learn some details of the biography of the new head of city administration.
At the first press conference Afendikov appears in a military uniform. On his left sleeve – Greek flag. It was spotted by journalists, and after the press conference the new head of the administration told LifeNews that he himself is an ethnic Greek in the sixth generation. According to Afendikov, the South of Ukraine is home to many Greeks – who live in compact settlements, one of which is located in the district of Mariupol.
During the conflict in Donbass Afendikov was on the side of the militia and for some time was even a commandant of Yenakiyevo. Now he has to take on a function of a peaceful state builder. According to the representatives of the interdepartmental commission, the restoration of Debaltsevo will begin on Thursday.
“Our goal is to restore all emergency services in each city. To give you an idea, during the conflict central agencies of Ukraine were ordered to withdraw from the cities in this region all emergency services, even all the equipment was taken out. People were simply abandoned. Now we will supply medical, critical care ambulances to transport people to nearby cities. The next step is to organize a peaceful life, to make people understand, that they are ours, and that they have always been ours,” – said Alexey Kostrubitsky, the head of the commission and of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of DPR.
Alexey Kostrubitsky said that at the present time there are a minimum of 5 thousand people remaining in Debaltsevo, mostly in the basements and half-destroyed homes, without heat, electricity or water. 50% of residents moved to safer places. Those who still remain, will also be offered an opportunity to move – to Donetsk, Shakhtersk, Khartzysk and others, and hot meals and shelter in the city.
“We will establish four locations for temporary housing, which will have electricity, food, medical services. Also centers for humanitarian aid will be established. Financial assistance will be provided at the temporary housing locations for retirees and low-income population, lists for distribution of retirement and other social benefits will be ready tomorrow,” – said Afendikov. His colleague added that it will take two to three days to pay all the retirees.
Interestingly, a previous mayor of Debaltsevo, Vladimir Protsenko, according to Ukrainian media, fled last summer, hiding from law enforcement and was arrested in January 2015 on the territory, controlled by Ukrainian security forces.
(The text of the article was updated by the translator based on the video of the press-conference provided)