Residents of Mariupol used to regard themselves as immune to the turmoil enveloping southern Ukraine after they saw off pro-Russian separatists eight years ago.

"We Mariupol people thought we’d smelled the gunpowder in 2014 and seen a lot,” said Ivan Goltvenko, director of personnel and administration at the city’s Metinvest-owned Azovstal steel plant. "But guess what — we were wrong.”

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