A weak hope for the return of Ukraine to the Donbass smoldered in the depth of a heart last year, but in 2017, a feeling that we fall into a hatch and it closed over us tightly appeared.
I meet a friend who works in accounts department of a coking plant some of these days. I am interested in how her things are. Maryna answers, heavily sighing, that it is very difficult psychologically, that there is not enough communication with Ukraine. Her parents, like many other representatives of the older generation, do not have Skype; mobile communication (MTS, Vodafone) works intermittently. Relatives from Ukraine called and reported the death of her uncle. They said they would give a telegram indicating the date of the funeral, so that the tickets for a train or bus could be given out of turn. What telegram? Do we have an e-mail with Ukraine? What train or bus? To the nearest checkpoint? Nobody will let pass there out of turn because all is a continuous privileged category: pensioners, invalids, grandmothers and grandfathers. After all, an electronic pass which is impossible to be done in a single day is required! In general, parents cried for a while, - Maryna says, - but nothing can be done, we were not able to go even to the funeral, let alone on a visit.
The father and mother are also being harassed by the fact that the "DPR" pension is scanty, and nobody is going to raise it. Forces and health just are not what it used to be for running around checkpoints in order to redraft the Ukrainian pension. They feel sorrow that they have unwittingly become a burden for their children whose salary is less than it was at the time of Ukraine by far.
Maryna tells that it became much harder to work. She went to shaping after a working day before the war, but now there is no strength or opportunity. You have to stay until very late, you come home as a has-been – that is all the "shaping". The official working day on Friday is until 15.00, but we get home after six o'clock.
We feel no legal protection. Earlier, until 2014, there was a League legal magazine for the accountants. It contained all normative acts with comments, explanations, additions and appendices. There is nowhere to learn anything now; we sit like fools, there is a zero use. Earlier, only senior officials were occasionally late from work, and now everyone has to do it. It is not a document management, but chaos.
We went to spend a neighbor who is being under treatment in one of the Donetsk hospitals after surgery a couple of days ago. We went a section of road on foot on the way back and forth. The eye was struck by the fact that the paths leading to shops in the first floors of houses were completely overgrown with grass. The shops do not work any longer, small businessmen could not stay afloat in the hard war time.
We changed the car license plate of an odd-numbered year made in the first days of June in order to avoid a fine from the traffic police. We are looking at a brand-new "DPR" stupid license plate and we are painfully aware that now we are not allowed to go to Ukraine. And V. Vysotsky springs to mind: "The way is open there, but I do not need to go there…".
Now "the way is open" only to the "LPR" and, theoretically, to the relatives in Russia. Theoretically – because it is almost impossible financially.
A former colleague went to Volnovakha on pension business last week. She stopped for a down time - $4 per night. "There are 3 hotels in the city, but it is more expensive there – $13.4", - a local taxi driver put her in the way of things. There are a lot of people, - Nina says. Almost all bring products from Volnovakha to the DPR: potato, meat (beef, since bacon and pork are forbidden to be exported); young couple - a box with strawberry. Probably, they wanted to sell it. After all, 1 kg of strawberries costs $4.1-4.2 in the "DPR" and $1.2-1.3 in Ukraine.
By the way, about strawberries. Yesterday, at the birthday in the company of friends, this delicacy was also on the festive table. The birthday girl proudly stressed: "Strawberry is from Zakharchenko himself, well, in sense that it is from local producers. Draw attention: it is large and beautiful!" Yes, it looks good, but tastes like grass: no sweetness or aroma. And there is an inscription on the box: Donetsk, Dzalaonagroservis…
Yes, a few days after the trip, Nina said that her friend called and shared her joy. She said they went to the other side, managed to buy and bring a piece of beef through the checkpoint. The driver was asked at the checkpoint – are there any forbidden things with you - meat, repair parts? The driver replied that there were no, although there was 3 kilo of moist beef in the trunk. They were lucky. They fried the chops at home. They ate something like this before the war last time.
And continuing the topic of products. A pro-Russian friend complained: "Prices are rising very fast, last weekend cucumbers on the Krasnyj Market were at the price of $0.68, and today they are already $0.85-1.02 and so on. The most delicious Vinnytsia butter was $6.60, it is 6.94 already. The best thick delicious tomato paste Ganichanochka (from Kherson) - $1.27-1.35". At the same time, strangely enough, the love for Russia, Moscow and Putin does not prevent her to choose products of Ukrainian origin.
For many, vacation is an opportunity not to rest, but to restructure social payments in Ukraine. A kind of marathon - to go to the "big land" and solve their problems. Small and medium-sized businesses have not been vacationed for three years already. "What for? We will work all the time. In addition, we can’t leave the republic anyway... ".
Meanwhile, school camps are popular now. Parents with great pleasure send children there. The main reason is FREE two meals a day. According to reviews, the meals are good: soup with meatballs, porridge with stew, etc. I asked if it was not the same with Ukrainian authorities? I got a response: "Not the same. The children had to take lunches from home!".
I am standing in line at the store. "We do not need terrorists, there are enough of patriots", - says the intelligent man, - "on the one hand, patriots overreact in Ukraine, but here everywhere the Russian world is propagandized".
And the "Russian world" continues to parasitize, destroying family relations.
My pro-Ukrainian friend with heartache and deep regret tells that her relatives living here in the same "DPR" have not been communicating with her and her mother for more than a year.
- Once, in a conversation with my cousin, in response to her rage at what Ukraine was doing to the Lenin’s monuments, I asked: "Oksana, do you care whether they are standing or not?" She ended the call and after that still does not communicate with me, deleted me from friends list in social networks.
- And my poor mother is forced to admit that her own sister loves Putin more than her relatives.
You try to be sensible and strive to be benevolent, but it does not work out.
Meanwhile, the "DPR" scares people with the rumors about non-payment of pensions. In the store Sarepta oranges are twice cheaper than apples - the seller says to the customer: "Soon the DPR will stop paying pensions, because both the metallurgical and coke plants are exempted from paying taxes". And the customer indignantly retorts: "Do they (the DPR authorities) think that we do not understand that everything is a show-off?! I am fed up with this! They think we are all fools!".
Yes, indeed, these enterprises hardly work, it is just another show-off. They run the equipment, carrying out scanty orders only in individual shops, and the main units are still idle. There is simply nothing to pay taxes from.
At the same time, among the workers of these enterprises (and not only these) there are enthusiasts (more like fools) who are ready to work overtime and on weekends for free for the sake of the idea, in the "name of a bright future", which is just a devastation, at least for now.
The management of the Makiivka Metallurgical Plant (now branch No. 3 of Vneshtorgservis) reported that they will cooperate with the South Ossetian bank. They promise that there will be three ATMs of this bank on the territory of the plant. Employees will be able to use ATMs of the Central Bank, but with a commission for service. In August, they promise to give out bank cards.
Last Sunday we talked with our relatives from Rovenki (now – the "LPR") via Skype. They are working at the mine, which three months ago was taken under the Vneshtorgservis management too. And after three months, it will transfer the mine to someone else. The mine is idle, coal mining is not conducted. All employees were sent home, without even clarifying if it was a free vacation or two-thirds of the tariff. Their bank is also in South Ossetia.
Yesterday we saw a "marvelous" photo: at the bus stop Yasynivka village against the background of the "DPR" flag someone made a chalk inscription "Dumb People's Republic"...
Hanna Vitovska, Makiivka, for OstroV