Ukraine MFA demands answers from German broadcaster over 'propaganda' report From Mariupol

The correspondent of the German broadcaster ZDF, Armin Körper, while in the temporarily occupied Mariupol, created a report about the "reconstruction of the city" during the stay of the Russians there. The spokesman of Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oleh Nikolenko said on X (Twitter) that the department wants an explanation of this visit.

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In the report, Körper does not talk either about the Russian occupation forces or that they destroyed Mariupol. Instead, he points out: "Mariupol is not a ghost town, I would like to make that very clear."

According to him, the majority of residents of Mariupol allegedly "have pro-Russian attitudes", and "people do not complain".

The journalist also mentions the Drama Theater, which was attacked by the Russians on March 16, 2022.

Körper claims that before the occupation it was allegedly forbidden to play Russian songs in the Drama Theater, but now "the situation has changed."

He emphasizes that the city is being "rebuilt", shops and restaurants are allegedly operating there. In addition, Mariupol has "hot water and heating".

Nikolenko said that "distorting reality is not journalism."

In addition, he stressed that the visit of the ZDF film crew to the occupied city without coordination with Ukraine is a violation of Ukrainian legislation.

"We call on ZDF to provide an official explanation. Violating Ukraine’s laws may impact media’s further work in Ukraine," concluded the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


On September 8, 2023, it was reported that in Mariupol, the Chinese opera singer Wang Fang sang the song Katyusha in the ruins of the drama theater destroyed by the Russian military. In response, Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated a ban on the entry of all "tourists" from the People's Republic of China .

Wang Fang's husband is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which is subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party, and he has supported his wife and spread pro-Russian narratives on his social media.

On January 4, 2024, it was reported that in Modena members of the cultural association "Russia Emilia-Romagna" plan to hold a propaganda exhibition about the fact that Mariupol is allegedly being "rapidly and qualitatively restored" after the Russian occupation. The City Hall of Modena withdrew the permission to hold the "event".