In his letter, Murmansk Mayor Aleksey Veller underlines that Murmansk is ready to assist the Crimean city, now experiencing a tense situation following the chaotic power transition in Ukraine.
As part of the address, the mayor also proposes to establish a friendship pact between the two cities.
The letter is sent as pro-Moscow demonstrators on February 25 named a Russian citizen as the new mayor of Sevastopol, underscoring fears that the region may try to break away from Ukraine. New mayor is Alexey Chalov, a Russian citizen and businessman. Sevastopol has until now been the only city in Ukraine whose residents do not get to elect their mayor directly. Sevastopol hosts the powerful Russian Black Sea Fleet.
“We want you to know that you are not alone – we will help and support you”, Veller stresses in the letter which is co-authored with the local Murmansk City Council. The letter is published on the city government website.
“The hero-city of Sevastopol has never been standing on its knees, this city of military glory has resisted two heroic sieges”, Veller says, adding in an outcry that “Sevastopol – don’t be afraid! Stay united” Fight for your rights, fight for your future!”
Both Murmansk and Sevastopol are socalled “hero cities” following their heavy engagement in 2WW action. Both cities are also key sites for the Russian Armed Forces. While Sevastopol hosts the Black Sea Fleet, Murmansk has the Northern Fleet in its waters.