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Donetsk residents – “it is as if we are in a train station, always waiting for something while living out of a suitcase." Part 2

Donetsk residents – “it is as if we are in a train station, always waiting for something while living out of a suitcase." Part 2

For the last two years, the life of Donetsk residents has not exactly been merry, and not only because of the continuous military actions around Donetsk, reports Segodnya (Today).

Please follow the link to read the 1st  part of the story

"Why did they do this to our elderly?"


Some former Donetsk residents who left Donetsk and started their new life from a scratch came back to their home city feeling even more devastated than before they were leaving. “Nobody cares about us and we have nowhere to go. In Russia, they offered us an accommodation in Ussuriysk under the refugee program, but that place is somewhere close to Vladivostok, that’s thousands of kilometers far from home. We declined and came back. Our neighbors returned from Kiev at nearly the same time. They could not find a job (although both of them possessed good professional skills – the wife was a paediatrician, and the husband a constructor) or rent an apartment. They found themselves hostages of this “we don’t let to the people from Donetsk” notion. They came back dispirited, just like us,” – said Galina Shitikova, a shop assistant from Donetsk.

The Donetsk people stress that they are not moaning or looking for sympathy. They just don’t understand why they got under this siege on both sides. They mention checkpoints and the discontinuation of pension payments.

“Those who did not stand in lines for 9–10 hours or spend their night beside the shut checkpoint would not understand. Those who did not try to take their sick mother to Volnovakha would not know how barbarous this obstacle was. When all this business with discontinuing payments guaranteed by the Constitution started, it was cruel too,” – Sergey Malikov, a Donetsk resident, says. “We can’t get it – why did they do this to our elderly? Sometimes we hear back from the Ukrainian pseudo-patriots that it served us right for “inviting the Russian army in”. How can they seriously think that those miserable old men and women are to blame, that the situation would have been different if it hadn’t been for them?"
The most depressing thing for the Donetsk population is that the people living in the territories controlled by Ukraine tend to view this war conflict in Donbas as a lingering long-term confrontation. “We still remember how President Poroshenko promised to liberate Donbas within two weeks. It was back in June 2014. Now he is promising to have this done by the end of 2016. How can we trust him?" – the inhabitants of the war-ridden mining capital city ask themselves.



Photo: Social networks

The supporters of separatism are also disappointed – there are no signs of thriving even by their standards. They are still trying to put on a good face and convince everyone around them that all they need is “to bite the bullet for a little longer” and that “life is getting back on track”. Yet in March the employees of the coalmines were receiving the remaining pay for November, the drugs in pharmacies are getting even more expensive, the public utilities service providers demand paying their bills and salaries are next to nothing. Biting the bullet is getting harder and is done with less enthusiasm.
“They accuse us of receiving double pensions. You think we are feasting on them here, don’t you? Our elderly barely make ends meet given the prices, not to mention that fact that many of them have adult children who either can’t find a job or are staying at home with young children. They need to eat something too. Please don’t call the money we are getting from Russia a pension. You may call it what you like, but I’m taking it so that they have less money left for buying shells and arms," – says Veronika Altafeyeva, a pensioner from Donetsk.

“Every day is a test of your mental strength”

Depression and despair can force people to commit suicide. Psychologists told Segodnya.ua that sometimes even people living in peaceful areas might feel depressed, so it is not surprising that the stress level of war-zone residents will rocket.



Photo: Social networks

“When people struggle to make ends meet, when they are constantly looking for ways to support their families and themselves, when they lose their jobs and see their regular lifestyles collapse, they start feeling insecure and lose confidence in the future," – told us Anton Gulyaev, a psychotherapist. “Those living in Donbas are exposed to stressful factors to various extents. In fact, each day turns into a sort of a test of their mental strength. Staying in a permanent state of emotional tension make a person fall into a long-term depression, become readily irritable, impulsive and willing to take it out on their family and friends, which in turn will only add more tension to the already stressed emotional state. In such situation, some people can only think of suicide as the last resort. I’m sure we shouldn’t be expecting mass suicides, but their number is likely to increase”.

The doctors from occupied territories will hardly voice the horrible official stats, as the latest “DPR” guidelines indicate that the republic is doing just fine.

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.

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