Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos expressed deep grief over the death of six Greeks recently killed in a mortar attack in southeast Ukraine. He vowed that the Greek government will support the families of the victims.
The six citizens of Greek origin were among the victims of a rocket attack by Russian-speaking separatists against the village of Sartana, located ten kilometers southeast of Mariupol, Ukraine.
The attack occurred around midday on October 14. Four mortars landed in Sartana, one striking a group of people walking towards the village cemetery for a funeral. Seven people aged 33 to 65 were killed. At least 15 were injured, some of them severely.
Approximately 70% of Sartana’s 11,000 inhabitants are of Greek origin. The Greek Consul in Mariupol, Dimitris Papandreou, had left the area of the attack just a few minutes before the rockets struck.
“I decided to see the situation for myself. I went to visit the military outposts and met with the Greeks in this region. Less than fifteen minutes before the mortar hit the area, I was found in the same spot. I was not hit from pure luck or rather by pure intuition, since I decided to leave early. It was terrible. The earth trembled from the explosion,” he told Kathimerini newspaper.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has posted videos of the minutes following the attack on Youtube: