There are few options for summer vacations for the residents of the "republic". Unlike the same "DNR", the Luhansk republicans have no outlet even to the Sea of Azov, therefore, the most expensive, but at the same time, real, is the Crimea.
Despite coronavirus and the absence of official bus services from the Russian Federation, the trade unions of the "republic" actively distributed vouchers for summer recovery to the Crimea, and even the cost of tickets there (despite the lack of legal communication routes) was compensated.
Literally everything in this adventure is strange in itself. It seems to be quarantine, but it does not apply to the residents of the "republic". As if there were no official transportations, but owner drivers work without permits. At the same time, the trade unions reimburse the road to the place of employees' health improvement through owner drivers, without tickets attached to the report. The quarantine is in effect and there are no carriers, but people go to the Crimea to have a rest.
In fact, it looked like this - all private carriers worked by telephone. No offices with signs or computers. You call your friend Liosha, he enrolls you and asks you to wait for the call with a message about the departure time. There are no advance tickets. The same Liosha calls you the day before departure and names the time and the place of departure. Usually it is somewhere in the center, an unmarked minibus.
Everyone is being gathered in one minibus - some leave for Moscow, some - for Yalta. Both people and bags are in the cabin. The comfort is quite relative. Then they are taken you to the nearest border with the Russian Federation. Here they charge you a thousand rubles - either for delivery, or as a guarantee that you will not go further with other carriers.
Before the border, a mixed bag debuses and walks. There is an intrigue like in the best detective series - will they allow you in or not? Or maybe, the rules were tightened? Nobody knows anything for sure.
Someone is using the passport of the "LNR" citizen, someone - a fresh Russian passport, others are trying to leak through with a Ukrainian passport. When filling out a migration card, everyone has a lot of questions. Citizenship of which country should those who have the "LNR" passports write? Logic suggests that the "LNR". But not everyone is sure, because there is officially no such country for the same Russia. Someone advises to skip this line so as not to rewrite it later. The Russian border guard disgustedly replies to another question about citizenship - Ukraine. And everyone timidly asks again, did they hear it right?
In this motley crowd of people migrating across the border: there are gypsies who call all border guards "sons", Tajiks, summer visitors, rotation workers and those who carry smuggled cigarettes. Someone honestly asks about quarantine or a virus test, receiving quite a confused answer: "Call the hotline and ask, just tell them that you are from the LNR". And it becomes clear that the "LNR" is like a quota that gives the green light to live and rest in the Crimea without quarantine.
But the most striking thing is that there are no masks on the Russian side. There is a conventional box with a conventional antiseptic, but no one is wearing masks. Is there no virus there either?
There is no quarantine for the arrivals too. You will hardly find masks further across Russia - neither in the catering system, nor in stores or at gas stations.
Already somewhere there, beyond the line of demarcation, the same buses without signs are waiting for everyone - to the Crimea and to Moscow. And hurry to carry everyone across endless Russia -some on vacation and some to earn money, but all without exception for a better life, away from chaos, uncertainty and poverty of the "people's" "republics"…
Olha Kucher, Luhansk, for OstroV