The "census", which took place from October 1 to 14, became a momentous event for the uncontrolled Donbass. It was prepared for a year and a half. At least, there have been many publications in the printed media and speeches of representatives of the "authorities" on radio and television on this subject. People were told that it is very important for the "young republic" to know the number of people living in order to understand what kind of socio-economic model to build in the foreseeable future, because the main questions will be the person's age and education.
However, no matter how hard the big bosses tried to carry out explanatory work, many representatives of the people were cautious about the very fact of the census. Moreover, not only those who spend most of their time on the territory of Ukraine, but also those who reside in the "LDNR" permanently, have strained.
First of all, this concerns pensioners who are afraid that those who receive Ukrainian pensions will be tracked down in this way. Because there is a question in the form about the source of livelihood. The fears of these people were based on the fact that they could be deprived of social benefits from Russia, if they find out that this is not the only income. After all, everyone knows that the Russian Federation has significantly reduced funding for the "republics".
Owners of real estate, who not live there permanently, are justifiably afraid of door-to-door canvassing under the guise of "census", because it is no secret that one of the primary tasks of the "young republic" is to find empty housing that can be grabbed.
Those who do not have a permanent place of work in the "DNR" and are considered "parasites" according to the local laws were also worried. There are rumors that after the "census" they can be politely invited to the military commissariat, and then be sent to fight. Therefore, many of them decided at the initial stage that they would not fall for this trick and simply would not open the door to the registrars.
But no matter how people relate to this event, it was destined to happen. Already at the beginning of September, announcements about the recruitment of people who want to count the "DNR" population in their free time appeared at the enterprises. The proposal to improve their material welfare by $150 in just two weeks was more than tempting.
The main office of the registrars recruited staff in a matter of hours, and those who did not have time to respond in time looked at the lucky with an undisguised feeling of envy. As it seemed to everyone - it is so easy to visit around 250 apartments in the allotted time. This is a designated norm. But you could increase your income if you overfulfilled the plan. The calculation was such that another $60 could be received for every additional hundred forms.
Having passed the necessary training at the headquarters, received badges, bags with census logos and forms, the registrars went to the addresses and realized on the first day that it would not be so easy to earn these $150. The main problem for them was the fact that they had to do a door-to-door canvassing in the evening, as they were not exempted from their main work. On the one hand, this is correct - after all, many residents are also at work on weekdays. But on the other hand, the registrars had no physical ability to fill out the forms for 17-18 people a day in order to reach the target rate.
There were several reasons for this - the remoteness of the site from the census taker's own place of residence and the curfew, which no one has canceled in the "republic". The issue of the registrars' security was also not the last factor. After all, it was mainly women who expressed a desire to be involved in the "census" and this work did not imply the presence of a partner. Therefore, as soon as dusk grew over the city, the ladies hurried home.
Apparently, it was scary not only for the registrars, but also for lonely people who were simply afraid to open the door to strangers. Communication through the door failed and the census takers were forced to fill out the forms according to the words of neighbors, what is already considered a violation.
Unofficially, they themselves admit that they managed to conduct the survey in one or two out of ten apartments, but they filled out more forms so as not to lose money.
Maybe for the same reasons, or not, but some registrars did not even bother with door-to-door canvassing and talked with one granny from the entrance of the house, who knew everything about all the residents, filled out the forms with approximate information or made a note that nobody was home. They stuck a note with a text in one of the doors for reality: "The republican census taker came to you, but, unfortunately, did not find you at home", which some residents sincerely surprised to when they saw it the next morning. After all, they did not leave the house all the evening and would probably gladly answer all the questions in the form.
Now regarding the questions. Judging by the reaction of the respondents, they most of all did not like the question of citizenship. Indeed, many do not have the "DNR" passports, therefore, they are citizens of the country that issued them the main identity document. Before answering this question, they cautiously took an interest, whether it certainly be OK, if they still have a Ukrainian passport.
The next question about nationality was even stranger. Because the person was asked not only to answer it directly, but to clarify "by self-determination". That is, not who you really are by the blood of your parents, but whom you feel yourself, given the political background. Many were simply afraid to identify themselves as Ukrainians.
The bulk of the questions posed no threat and involved the collection of traditional information - gender, age, education, marital status, at what age the first child appeared, place of work, participation in non-governmental organizations, etc. Everyone who answered the form questions was given memorable calendars for 2020.
The results of the so-called census will be published no later than the second quarter of 2020, local media report. But considering how the population of the uncontrolled Donbass was counted, you understand that this time the "freedom-loving republicans" outwitted their nurse Russia too. Because it seems that the "census" in the "LDNR" took place, but not for sure. Nobody knows for sure how they counted and whom. Unless you can only speculate on why people knocked on every door and on what basis they selected objects for the "census". Maybe such a mess occurred because of the dishonesty of the "census takers", or maybe they were intentionally given such an introductory message at the district headquarters.
So, the version that the "census" was needed to take into account the financial flow aimed at social payments is removed as the main one. Because the census takers came not to all pensioners. As well as the version that the "republic" is interested in non-working people to replenish the personnel reserve of the military - they have for the most part been ignored too.
About the official version - to find out the average age of population of the "republic" and their education, in order to understand in which direction to plan the development of the economy - there is also no point in discussing it, since everyone knows that no one is going to build new factories and plants on this territory.
It remains only to assume that Russia needed all this bother with the "census" in order to have a card up sleeve in certain political situations. Allegedly, look, what percentage of people in this territory identify themselves as Russian.
Even if the Russians really wanted to find out how much the maintenance of these territories should cost them, no one is going to show them the real picture. When announcing the results, the figures, of course, will be significantly inflated to show Russia that more people live there than in reality to receive appropriate funding.
Besides of that, there is another important mission for exaggerated figures. At the right time, they will pop up for all kinds of manipulations during various campaigns.
Liusia Molchanova, Donetsk, for OstroV