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Patriotism in the occupied Donetsk: people "leak" information about militants and speak Ukrainian

Patriotism in the occupied Donetsk: people "leak" information about militants and speak Ukrainian

They blend in with a crowd of ordinary residents of Donetsk, do not attract the attention of local "security forces" and not always know the Ukrainian language. They walk the same streets with the supporters of the so-called "DPR", or work with them in the same institutions. They want the war ended quickly, and wait for the rise of yellow-blue flags over Donetsk. They are Ukrainian patriots. "Segodnya" talked to some of them and see how they live in the occupied city.

Lack of communication in Ukrainian

"In 2014, we did not believe that all this will linger on. We thought that our city will return under the control of Ukraine soon. Then it became clear that it would not over so quickly, and we had to think about how to survive. We thought hard either to leave or to stay. I decided to stay because somebody normal has to be in Donetsk, somebody has to meet our guys" - Alexander, an inhabitant from Donetsk, took us into confidence.

There are no protests or trials to persuade fans of "republics", campaigns for Ukraine. It is dangerous to life and useless. "As for us, you see, only old people remained in the city. They really miss cheap sausages and want to return not even in Russia, and in the Soviet Union. We are focused on their children, promote their respect to themselves, foster a love for country, not to be traitors, "- says the Donetsk resident.

Pro-Ukrainian Donetsk residents do not bunch in underground groups and do not read Shevchenko poetry by candlelight. But they try to learn the Ukrainian language to their children. "In schools, the Ukrainian language and literature are taught one lesson per week. At home, my baby crams poems of Lesya Ukrainka, learn to write without mistakes, and sometimes we talked with her in Ukrainian. Our neighbors' son is a graduate; he has registered for the external testing, wants to enter the Ukrainian university. He says that more than half of his class has the same views. They look for a Ukrainian language tutor hard to find in Donetsk to pull up his knowledge before exams", - told us a Donetsk resident Lily. According to her, books in Ukrainian are on sale in the book stores. "Once I seen as they've bought two books about Harry Potter in Ukrainian, and folk tales are being bought for children with enthusiasm", - she says.

To cross out a boring to death abbreviation "DPR" on the wall of a garage, get out in the yellow-blue combination of clothes, put on phone ringtone of a Ukrainian song, and draw on the fence trident as a symbol "our guys in the city"... It's a funny list of silent protests, at the first glance. But it is Ukrainian patriots who trace platoons of military machines going along roads, count the number of machines, and noting the markings on the cabs. Then the information is sent to the right place. "We are not gunners. We want the occupants have disappeared from our city. And that is why we are helping our country's army - says Petr from Donetsk. - The information is transmitted via SMS from the reserved phones to friends that are at the front. When, in response to a SMS, for example, "10 trucks and a howitzer, center, with direction to the airport," comes a "plus sign", it means that information were taken into consideration. All messages are deleted, and the phone is reset".

Military expert Dmitry Tymchuk confirmed that Donetsk residents actively help to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "Since 2014 we have been working in the dual reports format. One we give for publication in the media, and information on the movements of forces and means of militants - to the Security Service and military intelligence. We received that information just from local residents - told Tymchuk to "Segodnya". - But the "Ministry of State Security of DPR" works quite effectively, and the militants are periodically suffer from attacks of paranoia that affects the mood of the local people. Fearing for their lives, not all local is ready for some action".

Sociologist Egor Ignatyev told "Segodnya" that there is no people with a neutral stance in Donetsk: all have already decided to support either the so-called "DPR", or Ukraine. "We can not say that the inhabitants of the occupied part of the Donbas who has retained pro-Ukrainian views pin faith to Ukrainian politicians. These are people with preserved critical thinking, and therefore they do not change their beliefs. Patriots see how it was before and as it became after seeing all the "charms" of life in "DPR". Of course, being on that territory, anyone hardly dares to openly condemn the authority of the militants. People are forced to live there in constant fear for their lives and keep their mouths shut, - said Ignatiev. - By the way, there are "DPR" sympathizers on the territory of Donbas controlled by Ukraine, but they do not want to move to live in the "republic": I never met a statistics on refugees from Ukraine to "DPR".


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