Ethnic Greek soldier in Russian Army killed fighting in Ukraine


An ethnic Greek from the Russian city of Yessentuki in Stavropol Krai was killed fighting in Ukraine.

Born on January 19, 1995, Georgy Romanov was killed on the fourth day of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, specifically on February 28.

Yessentuki is considered the cultural capital of Russia's Greek population.

Yessentuki mud baths building
Yessentuki mud baths building.

According to the 2010 Russian census, 5,452 Greeks live in the city, accounting for 5.4% of the city's 100,996 inhabitants.

The reason for the high Greek population is because 12,000 Greeks from Georgia were resettled to the city and the village of Essentukskaya in 1938.

Meanwhile, the Greeks of Russia provided humanitarian aid to the Greeks of Sartana (near Mariupol) after the village was captured by Russian-backed forces after eight years of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion controlling the city.

The Russian Embassy of Greece wrote on Twitter: "With the support of the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic, the Greeks of Russia brought humanitarian aid to the Greeks of Sartana in the Mariupol area."

The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) is a self-proclaimed breakaway state located in Ukraine, formed on 7 April 2014, and recognised by no other countries besides Russia and Syria.

Although the DPR is Russian-backed, it did not control the entirety of Donetsk with the ceasefire announced in 2014. Notably, Mariupol and its surrounding villages, including the 120,000 Greeks of the region, remained in the hands of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

Ukraine said it saw possible room for compromise in talks with Russia despite Moscow’s stepped up bombardment Tuesday of Kyiv and new assaults on the port city of Mariupol, from where an estimated 20,000 civilians managed to flee through a humanitarian corridor.

The fast-moving developments on the diplomatic front and on the ground came as Russia’s invasion neared the three-week mark and the number of Ukrainians who have left the country amid Europe’s heaviest fighting since World War II eclipsed 3 million.

After delegations from Ukraine and Russia met again Tuesday via video, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said early Wednesday that Russia’s demands were becoming “more realistic.”

“Efforts are still needed, patience is needed,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation. “Any war ends with an agreement.”

Zelensky, who was expected to address the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, thanked President Joe Biden and “all the friends of Ukraine” for $13.6 billion in new support.

He appealed for more weapons and more sanctions to punish Russia, and repeated his call to “close the skies over Ukraine to Russian missiles and planes.”

He said Russian forces on Tuesday had been unable to move deeper into Ukrainian territory but had continued their heavy shelling of cities.

Over the past day, 28,893 civilians were able to flee the fighting through nine humanitarian corridors, although the Russians refused to allow aid into Mariupol, he said.

Before Tuesday’s talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would press its demands that Ukraine drop its bid to join NATO, adopt a neutral status and “demilitarise.”

In a statement that seemed to signal potential grounds for agreement with Moscow, Zelensky told European leaders gathered in London that he realises NATO has no intention of accepting Ukraine.

“We have heard for many years about the open doors, but we also heard that we can’t enter those doors,” he said. “This is the truth, and we have simply to accept it as it is.”

NATO does not admit nations with unsettled territorial conflicts.

Zelensky has repeatedly said in recent weeks that he realises NATO isn’t going to offer membership to Ukraine and that he could consider a neutral status for his country but needs strong security guarantees from both the West and Russia.

The U.N. said close to 700 civilians in Ukraine have been confirmed killed, with the true figure probably much higher.

READ MORE: Why do so many cities in Ukraine and Crimea have Greek sounding names?