"It’s not as it should be" ... A Donetsk dweller tells about humiliating treatment of her militia son 12/01/2015 10:00:27. Total views 1076. Views today — 0.

At the beginning of May the media reported that the head of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" Alexander Zakharchenko began an operation to disarm the Cossack units for allegedly looting and crime.

OstroV contacted the resident of the occupied Donetsk Natalya (her real name is changed for security reasons), whose son was among one of these Cossack units (he was a former member of the Oplot OCG) and was hit by this wave. She told how the security forces of “DPR” humiliated her son and what her life looks like in Donetsk.

It should be noted that Natalya is a supporter of “DPR” and is not going to leave Donetsk. She understands that this interview may be the last one for her, but she is ready to tell the truth for the sake of his son.

She began her story with the phrase "it’s not as it should be..."

- Natalya, tell us how your son was arrested and what happened to him?

- There was a secret operation of Don Cossack Union troops, in which my son spent the last  two months. He was just getting ready for the parade on May 9, rehearsing, marching with all the others, when their commander got a call and was said to come with other Cossacks to come and take the parade uniform. When they arrived at their destination, they were immediately arrested. They were simply lured and taken away.

They were arrested because their leaders were said to take civilians apartments, cars and other property, behave improperly. As a result, these leaders have run away and 470 ordinary boys were arrested. MSS (Ministry of State Security, - OstroV) kept them in the factory, in the cool and damp cellar. They had to pee in a barrel in the same place where they slept and ate. Now they are all sick and coughing. They took everything: phones, chain jewelry and cell phones from girls who worked as cooks there. There was a whole bag filled with mobile phones. Then they took off all shoes and only imagine they kept boys in a cool, damp cellar...

One Russian had his leg shot, another one his arm, they were beaten and hit because they refused to give their watches, they were beaten for everything.

- Does it mean that all of them were arrested?

- These guys were not even arrested, they were simply detained for 10 days till all circumstances of the case are found out. And no one knew anything, how they were or what had happened to them and so on.

- Who kept and guarded them there?

- I'm sorry, but I cannot say that.

- How did relatives of these people react?

- The parents of these children rebelled, let’s say a quiet riot. When they started to write claims at the Ministry of Interior Affairs in Donetsk they started to release boys slowly. Finally they decided to wash them, poured them with cold water from a hose like prisoners are poured in appalling prisons. Are they fascists, so that they deserve such a treatment? They tell us that there are Nazis in Ukraine and why are they better then?

- Did you report about that somewhere?

- I reported everywhere: the Human Rights Department of “DPR”, all possible institutions and services, but no one could help.

On May 11 I ran across the field to Zakharchenko (Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of “DPR” – OstroV)  to deliver a letter. They promised to give my letter to him, however, I hardly think they did so.

I can honestly tell you that I am still for “DPR”, but not of that kind. Such things shouldn’t happen, it is barbaric, it's wrong. If I am sent to prison for what I say, let it be, but I cannot be silent. I tell the truth, and no one wants to listen to me. It’s needless to say that we are fine when such things happen.

- Was your son finally released?

- He was released 10 days after. But it wasn’t the end. When I returned home from work, I found that 12 armed men had knocked my door, and were searching my apartment. And when I asked the police department on what basis they had searched the flat without documents for permission, I was told that there had been an anonymous call and they had come to check. Well, you can’t do like that!

So, they found 40 ammunition rounds from Kalashnikov, that my son brought from battle and forget about them, and I had no idea about their existence. Well, in the end, it's not a grenade, not explosives, just 40 ammunition rounds. These people "registered" these 40 rounds, smirked, but it’s not a big deal, but in the end opened a criminal case. And just imagine that my child, which had been kept for 10 days in the basement before, was sent to the police station, and from there was taken to a detention center.

And now he has to stay 3 months in the pre-trial detention center. His girlfriend is pregnant, he was going to marry her.

When I visited him in the detention center, I brought him a bag of things, but he didn’t take off his uniform, standing in handcuffs ... and asked me, "what is it for?". He is not a traitor, not a criminal, did he fight for that? He is just morally killed.

- What do you think, what was the reason for such a situation?

- I think that this situation happened due to the fact that people, who at first seemed to have left all law enforcement agencies, are now gradually returning to their positions and feel the power. This is wrong, unfair.

I do not understand why it's happened to my child. He nearly died in Peski, he told me: I was lying on the battlefield, bullets were flying, and they just left us there, our people just left us.

Some people just did not like that they were in the Cossacks. They were a lot of people from Oplot, a lot of people who just fought, but they decided to join the Cossacks. It turns out to be their only fault. It is lawlessness.

- How did it happen that your son joined the Cossack army?

- Initially, he was a member of Oplot, but near Uglegorsk his mechanized infantry units, when it was in the intelligence was broken, almost all the boys were killed. After that, he was offered to work in the police (Voroshilov police department of Donetsk), but he told me that he would go to work in the police only when the war was over. As a result, he was offered to join the Cossacks squad of rapid mobility, their base was in the Praga hotel, he did not go anywhere, he didn’t take anything, he just stood  as a guard and protected the chieftain.

Then there appeared a Russian who started to train them in a group of 16 people, they're running, jumping and so on.

But the situation was that one day the guys were attacked By Vostok and Kalmius and Sokol for all their achievements and in general they just attacked each other. They (the Cossacks – OstroV) had the second base in 66 Mayska Street, I was there, and everything is shot there. It means our people attacked each other. How is it possible?

- Did local mass media somehow highlight this situation? Did you resort to them?

- The local media didn’t say a work about this situation, as if nothing had happened, although all knew about it. Just imagine that 470 people had been detained, bullied and robbed, but there is silence. Our media only reported that "we are fine".

Parents of those boys who were in the basement, brought journalists there for them to raise the issue, but nothing happened. Everyone is afraid.

- If everything is found out and your son is released, do you plan to leave the occupied Donetsk and move, for example, to free Ukraine?

- No, I do not plan. I have nowhere to go, I have got only one apartment, my son, a dog and three cats, I have nowhere to go. I will stay here no matter what. Believe me, there are a lot of people like me. Yes, before there was bombing, I live in the center of Donetsk; we could only hear it, and many, of course, lost their houses on the outskirts of the city. But no one is leaving, they all like Donetsk.

And no one is against Ukraine. There is no enmity or malice. A year ago, we all lived normally, but it is as it is. I am certainly not leaving. I'll survive.

If you could only see this beautiful city. It is very clean, washed in the morning, and the center is very nice. On the outskirts of Donetsk it is, of course, terrible, bombs destroyed almost everything.

I also want to say that there are fewer drug addicts in the city; there is an order in Donetsk now. We have got curfew, so after 11pm it’s very quiet, there is no noise. All the rich kids have left, the students study better, they have become more responsible, and it’s not bad.

- And what about the products and prices in Donetsk?

- It would be fine with products if we had money. Yes, they are fewer, but there are Russian products. The market is full. If we talk about prices, multiple Kiev prices by 2 and you’’ get our prices. I used to buy feed for my cats for 4 hryvnia per pack, and now I buy it for 10 hryvnia. Prices are killing us, it is true. I can say for myself: I almost eat nothing and buy nothing. It happens that I eat humanitarian porridge, but only sometimes. Humanitarian aid, for example, is not given to doctors at all. I do not cry the blues, believe me. We are waiting, waiting for the promised salary, we are still waiting.

- Do you get your salary?

- I work as a doctor, I don’t get any, well, hell with it, I will somehow survive, I have already forgotten the last time I ate normally. But what is happening to my son is not fair, I can’t stand it. I just want to get my son back, I have nothing else to desire, He had suffered enough, it’s just awful.

We were told that in May we would have the official salary, before this was just some kind of help. So, we weren’t paid for February, March or April. There is nothing. Doctors have always been patient and we bear everything now. I know that the pensions are paid and that’s all.

Well, we do not have any money, it’s ok, we’ll survive, and that’s not a problem. We try to look at it with humor and optimism and not to give up.

Interviewed by Vladislav Bulatchik, OstroV