On the streets of Donetsk, you can often hear the words of Donetsk residents' regret that their beloved city is dying. Even those who believed in its margin of safety have already buried their illusions about the imminent revival of the Donbas. After all, only a fool does not see that there is a planned program for its destruction.
The massive closure of mines in the first years of gaining "freedom" from the "junta" Ukraine was the first shot. The miners resignedly swallowed this pill, apart from halfhearted attempts to express their disagreement. Then it turned out that the work of the miners was worthless. Debts and untimely payment of wages at the working enterprises proof this. The attempts to start protests were instantly stopped by the special services and the "people's" police, having left bitter disappointment and genuine shame before their wives. Because it was women who began to raise a tidal wave.
A group called Miners' Wives appeared on social networks in 2017, where people exchanged information about salary payments in different mines, and there was also a call to go to the city's central square to protest against the closure of mines and to draw the attention of the "authorities" to the humiliating remuneration of the miners' labor. Several dozen people responded to the call. They came to the square on April 19, where little green men in civilian clothes were already waiting for them, after a conversation with whom the miners instantly lost their desire to protest. The Miners' Wives social group ceased to exist by the evening of the same day.
The Donbass has long positioned itself as a land of miners and steelworkers. Therefore, it is no wonder that after the destruction of the coal mining industry, they turned to metallurgy. Of course, Ukraine was blamed for everything. Allegedly, it declared an economic blockade, thereby endangering the survival of the "republic's" metallurgical complexes. The first on the list to be closed was the oldest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine - Donetsk Metallurgical Plant. Blast furnaces were extinguished at the DMP one by one, and the latter was shut down in February 2017.
The plant continued to pretend that it was alive for a while, reminding of itself with a lingering hollow beep. But last summer, it fell silent too. Of all the working shops of the once huge plant, only the energy ones remained. Because their work provides energy supply to three districts of Donetsk - Voroshylovskyi, Leninskyi and Budonivskyi. It would seem that there is a reason for joy among the workers of these workshops - they will not be fired. However, there are few people willing to sell their work for "thanks". Mass dismissals of experts due to non-payment of wages began in September of this year. People waited patiently and believed in a miracle for four months...
A letter from chairman of the trade union committee of the Donetsk metallurgical enterprise N.Shpundra to "head" of the "republic" Pushilin, in which he asks for assistance in paying off wage arrears and says that if all experts are dismissed, thousands of citizens will find themselves this winter without heat, was a howl of despair.
The situation with untimely payment of wages is also observed at other industrial enterprises of the "DNR". Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant owes its staff 40% for June, Yasynuvata Coke Plant - 10% for July and Komsomolsk Mining Administration underpaid its employees 55% for the first summer month.
Steelworkers of the Yenakiieve Iron and Steel Works were given only 40% of their salary in June, and in August and September, they were told that there was no money at all. Last week, the workers of the Yenakiieve Iron and Steel Works decided to hold a rally, at which they demanded to pay off wage arrears. Having come out to the personnel, the head of the enterprise talked about the difficult economic situation in the young "republic" for a long time, and at the end of his speech, he called for understanding and asked to be patient. And the protesters went to endure.
Even the "military" faced the problem of delaying its money allowance. Of course, not field officers, but those who went to serve under the contract out of despair in order to have a more or less decent wage ($200). But apparently, Russia continues to inexorably reduce funding for the "republics", since there is no money even for the "defenders".
Local residents talk in various social groups that the "military" borrow even bread and milk. This is despite the fact that the "authorities" convincingly tell the population about the increase in pay for contracted soldier by 10%, which is $20 with a salary of $200. Such an increase caused ironic disappointment in the units and divisions. "Risking live for $200 is the domain of those who have no family, ambitions and future plans for life", - the offended "servicemen" write in local publics. Because many soldiers have serious health problems after such a "service". And those who quit due to age or disability are paid a shameful social allowance of $62.
But open expression of your dissatisfaction with the existing situation is equated in CADO with "high treason" and sabotage. Pro-Russian blogger Alexander Bolotin has already been convicted for inconvenient posts on social networks. Adept of the Russian world has paid with his freedom for criticizing the "authorities" regarding passport checks during the New Year holidays. He has been in jail for 8 months and faces a real term of serving a sentence in a colony for up to 14 years.
Roman Manekin, who had arrived in Donetsk from Moscow in 2014, was also detained more than once. He was arrested for the first time in 2017 for publicizing the arrest of the "DNR Interior Minister" Alexey Dikiy. They tried to blame him for the preparation of a "coup d'etat". But the prisoner escaped with beatings and fright, having given the testimony needed by the "authorities", he was released after the intercession of Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Subsequently, the blogger was warned several times and even summoned "to a conversation" in the "Ministry of State Security" for angry posts against the "authorities". Eventually, he was arrested in September of this year after his written appeal to the "direct line" with the "head" of the "DNR", in which he drew attention to the fate of Bolotin. Apparently, Zhirinovsky pleaded for him again, because Manekin was at large a few days after the noisy detention.
According to the builders of the "new state", all residents of the uncontrolled Donbas should be silent and afraid. Those who are not paid their salaries, who have been deprived of their allowances and who have been left without work. But it is frankly encouraging that the Kremlin's puppets are failing in this direction. The politics of intimidation and lies that have flourished here for the past seven years is not yielding the expected results. The fact that society cannot openly oppose "power", lawlessness and arbitrariness does not mean that it has no protest moods.
Liusia Molchanova, Donetsk, for OstroV