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"Stitch" the country again Part 2

"Stitch" the country again Part 2

How Royal rocks, an underground monastery, the town of Makhno, and poet Zhadan will return Luhansk region to Ukraine. Part 2

Luhansk region has been considered everything in our country: granary, smithy, and even health resort in some places. However, it has not almost never considered as a place of tourist interest. Meanwhile, tourism could help to remove at least two of the preconditions of "Russian Spring" in 2014. Unfortunately, no one made corrections of those mistakes.


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

Direct contacts VS propaganda

When I talk about two preconditions ща "Russian Spring" which could have been avoided I mean the poverty of Luhansk hinterland and the fear of Pravy Sector activists. These two factors lied at the root of the riot.

If a flow of tourists from Western Ukraine went to Luhansk region it would be much more difficult for propagandists of the "Russian world" to create and maintain the myth of the "bloodthirsty vuyki" (the inhabitants of Western Ukraine). Direct contact of people work like magic. Not only creating a favorable background ("I know a hundred persons from Galichina, they are normal people"), but giving the possibility to check the veracity of the news of the zombie TV. Just call in the days of the Maidan and ask: what have you going?

As regards to the resistance to propaganda, however, our experts are not agreed completely.

- I think that the absence of normal communication had meant much in a negative sense. And our people have been prepared to create that all, - says the historian, the head of Luhansk archaeological Union Alexey Brityuk.

The results of propaganda and the absence of links between East and West of Ukraine

- I doubt that it would play an important role in how things happen eventually. Dirty propagandists worked very well, "bloody Benderovites" in their imaging, "sacred communist jihad" near Lenin's monument, general state of "deadhead" and following the instructions of the authorities, apathy of sane part of the population - Ilya Esin lists counterarguments.

Minus stereotypes plus job

A little more optimism was expressed by Denis Kirkach:

- Such a tourism could not change this attitude to the root but could partially destroy stereotypes. It is not only the residents of Donbas had stereotypes about the "bloody Banderovites", there were offensive stereotypes in the West about the East of Ukraine, too. In the best case that we have nothing but waste heaps there, in the worst that there are only titushky, cattle, and the Party of Regions there. In the winter of 2014, when we had been threatened by "40 buses of Pravy Sector activists", the rest of Ukraine threatened by "wild miners" who are going to rape and murder. These stereotypes would not so easy to be used if people from other areas frequently visited Donbas.

But there can be no doubts about the second factor. "Russian Spring", especially at the initial stage, in Luhansk largely had the character of social protest. People opposed to the oligarchs who condemned them to poverty. As is known, the epicenter of unrest were the most disadvantaged, depressed areas of the region where poverty and unemployment prevail.

A tourism industry is, above all, jobs.

Near success

Sprouts of the tourism industry penetrated what is surprising.

- It is necessary to offer some ready route with some type of service package such as a Weekend route. Or a route to several points. We arranged several times the tours to the Mstsihovsky ex-manor: a tour, a photo shoot, a violin concerto, then a lunch. It was even commercially profitable - says historian Alex Brityuk.

The ruins by themselves, even beautiful, are not very interesting. It is quite another thing if to inhabit them with ghosts of the past and the legends! By the way, we carried out a "joust" in 2012, two years before the war, in the Mstsihovsky ex-manor: competition for historical fencing "Sword of the East". The event has attracted the attention, and the correct approach would gather crowds. It would give to the local residents the opportunity to earn on renting of apartments, trading fast food, souvenirs ... The tournament was repeated in 2013, but then the aroused tradition has been interrupted.

Journalist Denis Kirkach said that business also looked well for the owners of green manors. They furnished interiors with the authentic household items of XIX - early XX century, had guests not only from Luhansk region.

- We spoke on the eve of New Year - places in their dwellings were occupied for all the upcoming holidays, - says the author of "Mandrіvnyk" program. - They did not advertise their incomes openly, but it was evident that they developed.

New service "Explain Ukraine". This is a daily mailout of three 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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