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Donetsk: Life in the World of Illusions. Part 2

Donetsk: Life in the World of Illusions. Part 2

"DPR" authorities continue to build its own version of the DPRK based on the Russian money and staying in the belief that Ukraine will not return in this part of Donbas.

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

There is a lot of propaganda everywhere in "DPR". It presents in TV, bill boards, post offices and marketplaces. Almost everywhere there is the figure of the "father of the nation" Alexander Zakharchenko who is "ready to take care of every need; only announce your problem through hotline". Information from the "front" is fed in the same hot and accented manner.

There are widely used the expressions "punitive troops", "Kiev junta", "invaders", "Nazis" which allegedly shelled day and night and vice "the young republic". In the conditions of absence of Ukrainian TV broadcasting on the demarcation line and even on the part of Ukrainian territory propaganda of "DPR" also affects the Ukrainian Army and residents of government-controlled areas of the Donetsk region.

The military men are told that "Kiev giving criminal orders, sends to them deteriorated equipment which cost after its fault would be blamed on the officers (the last example are the deteriorated radio stations each costing 4-5 thousand USA dollars). Most soldiers of the Ukrainian Army allegedly get involved in alcohol in order not to execute criminal orders of their commanders. Potential supporters of separatists living in the ATO zone on Ukrainian territory are taught that Kiev "betrayed" Donbas and its people, and does not care about the people, while "DPR" has defeated oligarchy and almost built a "people's republic".

However, there is no more "positive" factors. One of the main disadvantages of living in "DPR" is the lack of jobs. Employment remains at very low levels; many people survive only due to humanitarian aid in an attempt to cut down their expenses to a minimum. Food markets have been considerably emptied and it is difficult to find all the necessary products at an affordable price in one place, so many people go through the city to replenish reserves. Food prices remain high enough, especially considering the size of the salary (e.g. an uncooked smoked sausage stick costs about 400 rubles). A network of former "ATB" supermarkets under the current name "Respublikansky" which people associate with Zakharchenko, continues to lose popularity. Only local products as well as imported from Russia are presented on its shelves. But despite the inflated price, Ukrainian goods are in high demand and widely represented in the supermarkets of the network "Amstor" and "Obzhora". However, the fact that the Ukrainian is synonymous with quality, in no way influences to the absence of sympathy to Kiev.

Utility tariffs remained on the former level which is approximately three times lower than established by Kiev. The average salary in Donetsk in the public sector (funded at the expense of subsidies from the Russian Federation) is about 6-8 thousand rubles (2300 - 3000 UAH). In order to somehow stimulate the unemployed, the "city executive board" in Donetsk opened a so-called casual vacancies with a part-time or seasonal work such as landscaping. A salary in 1500 rubles per month is offered for such job. Local TV channels brightly represent the usefulness of outdoors time, prospects of joint work the hometown would look more beautiful. It does not matter that the monthly salary for the work of a conscientious worker can afford a little less than four sticks of uncooked smoked sausage.

Local elites which under no circumstances would not have become the elite in Ukraine is very proud of its regional "identity". This applies not only to politicians; during a considerable time there are already various high-status institutions: "DPR Writers Union", the " Academy of Sciences of DPR", "national universities" (leading higher education institutions of "DPR" have concluded the agreements on the nostrification of diplomas with many Russian universities), various sports federation. The last participate together with athletes from Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the international competitions in Russia (it is interesting that the Academy of the hockey club "Donbas" owned by an oligarch Boris Kolesnikov continues its work in Donetsk and Druzhkovka simultaneously that is presented by the local propaganda as the achievement of "the young republic"). The absolute majority of the inhabitants in "DPR" believe in that Ukraine definitely will not come back here. The question is what they think in Kiev about this.

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
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