From the positive developments for the last week - a steady reception of Radio ROKS (Ukraine) appeared in Donetsk and Makiivka. I loved to wake up to the rhythmic music of this wave for many years until 2014. This is the second Ukrainian radio station that broke through the jammers of the Russian special services. The first was Radio Perec FM.
Of course, this does not compensate for the disconnection of Ukrainian TV channels that encoded their signals, because only thanks to the dishes, people could receive information about what was happening in Ukraine and hear an alternative point of view on the events in the Donbass. Indeed, what local TV channels broadcast is far from the reality.
As it is known, nature abhors a vacuum - many regional Russian channels from the Rostov oblast and Krasnodar Krai have appeared on the freed up air frequencies. I hesitate to make the flat assertion about the percentage of residents of the uncontrolled Donbass, interested in the television products of these studios, but something tells me that their rating will not increase due to such an audience building.
However, a lot of things that are difficult to explain occur recently in the Russian television space (which reflects Russian politics). For example, how to assess the fact that after the New Year's address by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the first number of the traditional "Blue Light" New Year's show was performance of Ukrainian singer Sofia Rotaru, not Baskov, Kirkorov, or, at worst, disgraced in Ukraine Lolita? And why leading Russian channels were flooded with Ukrainian films and TV shows from the first days of 2020?
For example, two Ukrainian series "Threads of Fate" and "Bondmaid" were launched in prime time on the air of Russia 1 and Russia 24, while STS showed film "Sugar Daddy", produced by Kvartal 95.
January pleased Russian TV viewers with their favorite Ukrainian blockbusters ("Matchmakers", "Servant of the People", "8 Best Dates" and "Love in the Big City"), the main roles in which are played by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, and classics of Ukrainian cinema: "Wedding in Malinovka" and "The White Bird Marked with Black", which took place on the Russian Movie channel.
Since many people in occupied Donetsk still hope for a miracle and try to see a hint of change in circumstances in any strange event, they all started talking at once that Russian TV was broadcasting Ukrainian films for a reason and that there was a "warming" of relations between Russia and Ukraine, and that, in general, the war is about to end.
However, optimism did not last long. Exactly until February 16, when the city realized that the war was continuing and even gaining new momentum. People have not heard such shelling since 2018. Residents of the outskirts of Petrovskyi and Kyivskyi districts taped the glass of their windows criss-cross again and put icons with holy faces on the windowsills to protect their homes from destruction.
The situation became even more escalated on the outskirts of Horlivka (Zaitseve village) on February 18. Representatives of the OSCE special monitoring mission confirmed information that five houses were damaged as a result of the shelling.
People on different sides of the conflict comment on the situation in different ways, accusing each other of provocations and shooting from prohibited weapons. Ukrainian media report that on this day, one Ukrainian soldier died, three received injures of various degrees of severity and two more were shell-shocked. There is no official data on the wounded and the dead in the "DNR" as usual, but Ukrainian publics report 4 dead and 6 wounded.
The Kremlin reacted in its own style, allegedly, they do not know the reason for escalation of the military conflict in the Donbass, but we express our sympathy for the information about the victims…
Regarding the population of territories beyond the control of Ukraine, each still has its own position and its own truth. Someone unconditionally believes one side, someone - the other, and someone feels unbearable pain, because the hopes of a long-awaited peace have been crushed for the umpteenth time, like a house of cards. And suddenly, Russian television channels somehow strange finished showing Ukrainian films and TV shows…
Liusia Molchanova, Donetsk, for OstroV