In 2014, a huge billboard could be seen near the separatists’ checkpoint at the entry to the town, saying “Welcome to hell!” These words perfectly match what Gorlivka residents have to say about their war-struck town obsessing about the Russian Spring.
People here are of different professions, ages and backgrounds. The only thing they have in common is once living in Gorlivka and managing to escape from the town over which Ukraine had control no longer. Here is what people who came from Gorlivka to Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Kyiv have to tell us …
Their short recollections fit into a terrible jigsaw of the so-called “DPR” nightmare reality.
We do not give any names for safety reasons.
Please follow the link to read the 1st part of the story
— The Chief Physician of the first hospital located in Kirov Sq. forbade hanging the DPR banner on the hospital’s building walls. He said the hospital was not a place for politics, that they were not a political organization and he would not have any banners, posters or war-cries there. They took him to the commandant’s office and kept him there for a week. Having released him, they allowed him a minimal period of time for moving his family and himself out of the Donetsk region, outside the occupied part. He was banned from getting back to the territory of the so-called DPR.
* * *
— A fellow who used to manage the station of young technicians (a hobby-like school for teenagers interested in engineering) before all these events is now in charge of “ideology” in Gorlivka. He used to promote Ukrainian traditions, arrange the town’s farewell parties for recruits heading for the army – with Ukrainian songs and traditional rituals. Now he’s doing exactly the same, but for “DPR”.
When all public sector workers were ordered to join Zakharchenko’s party, the people showed reluctance. They feared putting their names in some bulletins – the consequences were unclear.
What this “ideologist” did then was gathering the heads of public organizations, headmasters and telling them, “Are you not loyal to the emerging state? If you are, then join the party, otherwise let’s investigate into this”. Yet they carry out their investigation in just two possible ways – either take you to the commandant’s office from where you might never return, or arrange for your dismissal from the job”.
Nobody wanted to get fired because whoever wanted or could have done it had already resigned and left. The ones who stayed either supported the situation that was taking place or could not leave the town due to some external circumstances. They were mainly middle-aged people, but they were rigorous and willing to work well into their 70s or even until the very death. To put it short, the audience demanded some guarantees that nobody would see Zakharchenko’s party lists. They were assured that all those lists were for internal use only. The civil servants sheepishly agreed and flocked to Zakharchenko’s party.
Then in a couple of days, all party lists were published on the Internet.
The public sector servants are by no means rich, often they don’t own computers let alone use the Internet on a regular basis. When somebody told them it was written on the Internet that they supported “DPR”, they started worrying. They crowded off to the “ideologist” to demand an explanation of why he had set them up so badly. He then replied to them:
“Are you ashamed of expressing your affection to our young state? If you are indeed supportive of the republic, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. Now, if you are embarrassed, then let’s investigate into this!”
They tucked their tails and scattered away to their homes.
New service "Explain Ukraine". This is a daily mailout of five articles which were written about the situation in the Donbas by Donbas journalists and translated into English. Honest vision of people who work in the field is unbiased and fresh which is crucial in the world which is full of desinformation and propaganda. We try to share this vision in out daily mailout. You can subscribe here.
You can also join our Facebook community.