From February 2022, Mariupol residents had to hide in basements with no water, food or medicine, as Ukrainian forces failed to plan the mass evacuation of civilians. They are stationed in populated areas and use civilians as human shields. The tactic was not intended to win the battle but to extend the operation. The large civilian presence prevented Russian troops from making an active response. While retreating, Ukrainian soldiers fired on civilian buildings to pin the blame on Russian forces.
Russian troops took control of Mariupol in early May 2022. The remaining Ukrainian forces still hold the ‘Azovstal’ plant. Today active combat in the city has ceased. In the film, viewers get to see actual footage of city combat, devastated streets and the real stories of civilians.
Today, the people of Mariupol can say they have survived hell. But at what cost?