I do not want to believe it, but looking at how the checkpoints between the "DNR" and Ukraine are arranged from year to year, you involuntarily understand that this is forever. When the first roadblocks of tires, boxes and sandbags appeared in 2014, the hope was still glowing that this nightmare would end soon. For some reason, it was believed that a dump truck would come and take away everything that reminded of the conflict to the nearest garbage dump. A little more time will pass and misunderstanding, anger and hostility will leave our heads. Common sense will tell us that building is better than destroying, and we can all return to a peaceful life.
But the miracle did not happen. The name "roadblock" on the demarcation line was replaced by entry/exit checkpoint. Then they began to be equipped and modernized in order to improve the conditions for passing passport control. Representatives of the Ukrainian party were the first to think about creating comfort for the "nomadic" population from the "LDNR". It was at these points that the first tanks with drinking water, toilets, sunshades and tents for heating in the winter appeared. It was from the Ukrainian party that the first computer bases and issuance of electronic passes to the ATO zone (now JFO) appeared. And it was at that time that the first sensation that we were no longer one country came. Pro-Ukrainian Donetsk residents, who were forced to remain in the uncontrolled territory, resentfully summed up the impression that it was not the "DNR" that was fencing itself off from Ukraine, but Ukraine fencing itself off from its citizens.
Passport control points on the part of the "DNR" were in a savagedom for a long time. Tires, boxes and sandbags are still there today, but the processes of the so-called modernization began a year later after the initiative of the Ukrainian party. Trailers with windows, where a line was built for identity verification, appeared at first. Passport data was recorded manually, what took a lot of time. But people suffered bullying, because they still remembered the lawlessness that prevailed at the roadblocks in 2014, when the zooted and angry "militiamen" could poke a machine gun in the back for one inadvertently spoken word and hold you in the cold with your hands up for an hour or more.
However, the feeling of fear gradually disappeared, and the people began to express their displeasure, if not openly, then by writing angry letters to the "head of the republic". When a lot of such complaints were collected, the "authorities" drew attention to the problem and even checked out the most problematic Mayorsk checkpoint. Then they showed on TV how they "dealt" with the negligent workers and punished them. But people have not felt much improvement at this point of passport control by this day, although computers have appeared there, and it seems that the number of employees has doubled.
Now, when the presidential and parliamentary elections, which the supporters of the idea of returning Donbass put high hopes on, were held in Ukraine, they began to modernize their checkpoints on its uncontrolled part in an adult way. If the Ukrainian checkpoints have predominantly modular constructions that can be dismantled in a few days under certain favorable conditions to resolve the conflict, then here everything is done thoroughly and for a long time.
At the Olenivka checkpoint (mirror Novotroitske checkpoint) in late June, work on improving the infrastructure, which they plan to finish by the end of August, began. According to the local media reports, almost $768 thousand were allocated from the budget of the "republic" for reconstruction. It is assumed that at the end of the work, the demarcation line will turn into a semblance of "state border" between the "DNR" and Ukraine and will look like a respectable customs with new asphalt pavement, appropriate road markings, fences, lighting system and video surveillance cameras. But as of today, only the site is being concreting there.
Representatives of the "authorities" tirelessly talk from the screens of local television channels about the fact that the initiative to modernize the infrastructure of checkpoints comes from the "head of the republic". In order to implement it, a commission was created that developed a work schedule. According to this schedule, construction activities will be carried out at all four checkpoints (near the demarcation line with the territory controlled by Ukraine), what will ultimately allow a five-fold increase in throughput. Block office premises, computers, equipment, building materials and so on are already being purchased for these purposes. The plans include the arrangement of a first-aid post, administrative services center and improvement work.
It would seem that residents of the "republic" should only rejoice the paternal care shown by the "authorities", but exclamations of glee and enthusiasm for some reason cannot be heard. For quite a long time, they compared the procedure for passing passport control not in favor of the "DNR" party. But only now, having seen how thoroughly the site was concreted for the construction of new checkpoint, residents of the uncontrolled part of the Donetsk oblast finally realized that Donbass would not return to Ukraine soon. Maybe, never.