It is a good question - why do local men serve in the army here and how do people perceive it? Let us sort things out together, because not all is so obvious.
Perhaps, it is not patriotism, fanaticism or something "high" for the last three years, what was the main motive in the summer of 2014 for those who took up arms. Money, titles and their own security did not play any role for many of them at all. Yes, perhaps, many were moved by exalted feelings at the very beginning, but even with this, it seems, positive interpretation, many people openly did not understand the motives of those who took up arms even that summer.
After some time, when the local "army" itself turned from a spontaneous and chaotic union of assorted people into a smooth likeness of the Russian army with its strict rules, tough requirements, contract, hundreds of magazines and reports, fixed payments and some hopelessness, everything became much more transparent – now people go to "serve" just because of the money.
You can be able to do nothing, have a bad age, be nobody, have no experience, have three classes, a corridor in the field of education and a couple of previous convictions, but you will be welcomed in the "army". Where else can such a person with a dirty past and obviously doubtful reputation find himself? Especially if you consider the severe competition in the local labor market and general unemployment. This can be only construction, where they do not ask for a resume and or diploma. You can still be a road worker or storm the suburbs of Moscow, all in the same construction gangs, playing the lottery.
What if the person has already gone through all of this, sipped his own, when the roads are repaired in the pouring rain, and the workers live under film in gazebos on the street, waiting for a long Moscow ruble? If all this has already been completed and you want something else – with a big salary, some respect for your personality and, at least, some kind of stability?
Indeed, rarely anyone would not want to change the yellow-green garish color, the road worker's clothing into something that commands respect at least in someone's eyes.
In general, the motives of those who can get a chance to change their lives overnight from the marginal are understandable. For the rest, the main motive by and large is money.
My acquaintance, having returned from Russia, immediately went to serve in the local army. A little excusing to me, he explained: where are they paying now? Yes, he previously worked as a hired manager in the field of big business. The business collapsed with the beginning of war, the family had to be fed, but he did not want to be separated. Furthermore, the age is not the same to storm Moscow. And here, the first medical education gave an easy win, and my acquaintance is medical assistant in the "army" already for three years. Someone need an injection, someone – sick leave, pills, or just a talk and advice. And with his patience, he will be able to work on the same conditions for the next three years and beyond. His a little more than $700 + uniform + medications + foodstuffs occasionally is a small fortune for our street in general. And note, it is without leaving Luhansk.
There is also a sick leaves' trade, paid services…
That is, in three years, my neighbor with his non-conflict character was able to experience "hotter" leadership, and even to enter a local university. He is well aware that the lieutenant stars will add another $350 and will provide footing, when you can get home for dinner, spend the night at home "on the phone" and have a free hand in general. It is he on our street – that "white" guy who does not overstrain himself on the construction projects in Moscow, does not eat instant noodles in a hurry or work for 12 hours.
Of course, many men passed through the local "army". But there are very few to hold out in such a "reality show".
Not everyone was ready to immediately move back on call, having reached home on his legal day off with a bottle of beer in his hand. Not everyone was ready to paint and wash, and not just to shoot, as it was stated during the "employment".
It turned out that the "army" forms the character from 16 – 18 years, as it should, in principle, be where the army is regular; or it is not suitable for everyone, but only for a certain category – for those who can demand and fulfill themselves, who can obediently obey, not discussing, not listening, not criticizing, not arguing, not questioning and, most importantly, forgiving in advance everything that happened or may happen.
There is a grief in the family of acquaintances – a son, a husband, and a father of the family was blown up by a land mine. Yes, he has served all the past four years. He served by vocation, loved this business, although he said that all this was just for the sake of money. But he tripped a mine while serving in the fields. The leg was ripped off, there was a big loss of blood, he was taken to the hospital in a passenger car to be saved.
When he was on the operation table, they collected explanations from all of his colleagues that the incident occurred during the off-hours, while the victim was "walking" through the gardens not far from the front line on his legal day off. It is clear that all this was done to avoid payments.
There was a difficult operation, difficult rehabilitation, physiotherapy and prosthetics. He was lucky that the colleagues donated blood and money for treatment, and there was a comrade somewhere at the top, who managed to ask for a free-of-charge expensive prosthesis and rehabilitation in Moscow. But all this happened only because there was such a high-ranking and not indifferent comrade.
The paradox is that after a long treatment, this invalid returned to the "army" again on the same expensive prosthesis. He says that he does not see himself anywhere else, he cannot work anywhere else. He brought arguments to the family that there are plenty of people like him in the "army", who perform lighter work on prostheses. The family understands that this is not so much a necessity, but an addiction – he can no longer be without it. This is something that is almost impossible to understand. It is like a marginal community that drinks on its understandable occasions, honors some of its dates, has its own topics, songs and holidays, which are almost impossible to understand from the outside. It is like a hippie or goth movement, understandable and logical from the inside, but completely strange from the outside. This is what the "army" often looks like in the eyes of those who do not "serve".
Olha Kucher, Luhansk, for OstroV