Since 2014, the Fallen Communards Square, or as it is more often called by the Donetsk residents, the Golden Ring is considered to be the liveliest place of Donetsk. Pivdennyi Bus Station is located here - the only point from where you can go somewhere outside the "republic", as well as shopping centers, consumer goods marketplace, pharmacies, many grocery stores and kiosks.
According to the old tradition, residents of nearby cities, villages, settlements and regional centers come to Donetsk to buy household appliances, food, medicines and things. If the prices for clothes are still somehow being kept at the same "pre-year" level, then it is just a disaster with the rest of the positions.
In late January, the "authorities" happily reported a reduction in the cost of fuel. Gasoline at gas stations became $0.03 cheaper. They trumpeted the "tidings of great joy" on all channels.
But it had no effect on the price tags in stores. Although, as you know, the cost of gasoline has always been one of the components in the formation of product price.
While you are waiting for your bus at the bus station, you can hear many different stories. From the guys in military uniform you will find out that almost all the commanders are citizens of the Russian Federation and how rude they are to their subordinates. The salary is not always issued on time, and not the one that was promised when signing the contract.
From pensioners - how to cross the checkpoints cheaper and on which days it is best to go, so that there are no queues.
Or, for example, you can become an unwitting participant in conversation of a married couple from Novoazovsk, who came to Donetsk to buy a refrigerator.
The purchase of expensive equipment have been planned in December. They chose the brand for a long time and decided to stop at the local Donbass (the plant was either bought out or grabbed from the former owner by the Russians). In their choice, they were guided by the fact that if something happens, there will be no problems with spare parts, and the price is more pleasant compared to other offers.
They arrived to Donetsk, but it turned out that they needed extra $45 to buy the wanted model. They decided to take their time, because it is a serious purchase. So they went for a long-awaited purchase when the sacred sum of $245 was already in the pocket. But… It turned out that they need extra $45 again. Having realized the realities of life in the "DNR", they decided not to tempt their fate anymore, and after some deliberation, they purchased refrigerator - not the one they wanted, but one that did not go beyond the budget.
Essential goods gradually increase in price as well. Oil, meat, bread, cheese, sausage and fish become more expensive every week. It would not be too noticeable, but if a 180 gram pack of Brest Lytovske butter with 82.5% fat cost $2.05 on January 20, then it is already $2.3 on February 7. When asked why the products rise in price, the seller shrugged her shoulders and complained of the suppliers.
The price of fruits and vegetables in Donetsk is generally incomprehensible since 2014. Especially the price of apples. The "authorities" told on the TV last autumn about the bumper harvest in the gardens of the "republic", but starting from $0.76 per kilogram, the price of apples remained at that point.
Products from Abkhazia pleased for a long time - tangerines and persimmon - $0.9 and $1.2 per kilogram respectively. Today, the tangerines cost $1.2 at best, and the price of persimmon has risen to $1.8…
But in spite of all this, residents of Dokuchaievsk, Oleksandrivka, Dolia and Avdotyino continue to go to Donetsk. Because their situation is even sadder - the choice is less, the quality is worse and the prices are higher.
Lusia Molchanova, Donetsk, for OstroV