It is no doubt that there are some difficulties. There was a unique case in my experience when I worked as a doctor and was on duty. A common icicle fell on the head of a woman resulting in her death. Of course, the danger level increases in such situations, especially in winter ", - that was the answer to OstroV's question about whether it is dangerous to return to the occupied Donbass now, people's deputy from the Opposition block Tatyana Bakhteeva.
Apparently, the people's deputy sees the main threat and the risk of a return to the uncontrolled territories of Ukraine, where the government is seized by the murderers and gunmen, in icicles. But this is not surprising, taking into account that Bakhteeva quite often come to the occupied territory.
"I was in Donetsk in September 2016 for the last time ", - the people's deputy admits. And immediately adds that visited "her friends and the graves of her relatives".
However, not all the people's deputies were so lucky. For example, the former head of the Donetsk oblast Serhiy Taruta states that he could be arrested and even shot at attempt to enter the "DPR".
"After May 25, 2014 I was in the list of persons who need to be arrested and shot. I am a persona non grata in Russia too", - the people's deputy said.
A kind of "black list" of personae non gratae from 49 prominent businessmen and politicians of Donbass was issued in the "DPR" in 2016. It includes Rinat Akhmetov, Andriy Klyuyev, Yuriy Boyko and others.
At the same time, ordinary people return to Donetsk on their own risk while the showdowns related to the business and spheres of influence are going on in the occupied territories.
And they have more than enough reasons: starting with the lack of housing and employment and ending with humiliating procedures through which migrants are forced to pass to obtain social benefits.
"The risk is always there, especially when there is fire from "Grad" and machine guns, mines. The road in Donetsk is very difficult by itself. If earlier a man could drive for 9-10 hours from Kiev to Donetsk than now it may take several days. People come back because they have run out of money. Owners increase the rental amount immediately when they hear the word "Donetsk", - Bakhteeva says.
The deputy minister of temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons Heorhiy Tuka is at one with her.
"People return because life is not a bed of roses as a rule. From my point of view this goes to prove that these people are not able to find themselves here, and the government could not or did not want to give them such opportunity", - he believes.
"We need our good men"
The theme of "returnees" (exactly this way in the "DPR" are called those who earlier went to Ukraine and then returned to the occupied Donbass) is very popular in the "republic", and it regularly emerges in the local "media".
For example, a program with the theme "How to treat the returnees?" went out on Union separatist channel on September 19, 2016. There was a discussion whether the Donetsk people should accept them and "what to do with them". There "the first deputy head of the Budennovsk district administration" of Donetsk Alexander Varakin stated that it is needed to have a talk with returnees and find out for what purpose they had come.
"I am not against the returnees, but we need to know for what purpose they had come. It is needed to have a talk with the people, to see who they really are. There may be the people who can make us a lot of harm among them", - he said.
The issue of the creation of a specific body which could "check" the returnees for the purpose of arrival was also discussed during the discussion.
"The first deputy head of the Voroshylovsky district" of Donetsk Tatiana Kopylova added that the traitors of Donbass have no place in the "republic".
"I regard the format of the returnees in two ways. There is no place here for those who betrayed the Donbass", - the official said.
In his turn, one of the "spectators" in the studio asked her what is the problem created by the returnees that it forces to devote an entire issue of the program to this topic.
"Unfortunately, a very small percentage of the working population wants to work. It is so small that we have apposed "the minister of social policy" to deal with each returnee and appoint them through the employment center so that they do not live off humanitarian aid and donors… All should work to restore our republic", - Tatiana Kopylova answered.
"We need our good men", - she emphasized several times.
The fact that the return to the "DPR" is at least not safe and the "bad men" may expect problems can be seen by listening to the statements by the so-called "leaders" of the "republic".
"If people came with a pure soul and a good heart then why not. And if came those who believes that we are all separatists and rascals, I do not understand why they come here. Let this to the MGB (the so-called "Ministry of State Security", - OstroV)", - the so-called head of the "DPR" Alexander Zakharchenko said recently.
At the same time, there are no public criteria of "good" and "bad", therefore, ordinary people often become victims of illegal armed groups and unrecognized "authorities".
Why and for whom is it dangerous to return?
"The lawlessness and terrorism rule there, so I do not recommend going to the uncontrolled territories of Donbass. I do not know the trend of people's return to the Donbass. Do you know this trend? Where did you see it? I have heard that people continue to run away from there, they run away from the terror and from the catastrophic situation that exists today in the uncontrolled territory. People run away from the killers, rapists, terrorists, scums and rascals, who rob, murder, rape, press and so on. I think you are wrong, and this trend is somewhere in your mind rather than in reality. That is why I do not recommend people to return to the uncontrollable territory from Ukraine, because the people are really endangered there", - advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Zorian Shkiryak told OstroV.
According to the Informational Resistance group, the "DPR" does mass verification of trustworthiness of the "returnees". The militants believe that the SBU organized a mass recruitment of former residents who have left the so-called republic for their subsequent infiltration into the "state apparatus".
"The "DPR" and "LPR" suffer from a permanent spymania. Throughout 2016, there was an unspoken competition between the Ministries of State Security of the "DPR" and "LPR" to capture as many as possible Ukrainian saboteurs and spies. Now in Alchevsk pro-Ukrainian lines and graffiti massively appear, and "authorities" say that the citizens "of the young republic" could not do it because they love Plotnitskiy and Zakharchenko. They blame Ukrainian spies", - the leader of the Information Resistance, MP Dmytro Tymchuk said.
He notes that militants blame Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups even for incidents involving using weapons (including in a state of drunkenness).
"Even the elementary violations of operating machinery are attributed to spies of Ukraine", - D.Tymchuk says.
If the militants say about such a number of Ukrainian spies, they should at least sometimes show that they actually exist.
"They can not exist only virtually. Therefore, they find people who can even be not pro-Ukrainian and detain them for the sake of appearance. This is the usual logic of terror, which was observed in the Soviet Union in the mid-1930s", - he said.
Thus, Dmitry Tymchuk notes, it is at least imprudent to go to the uncontrolled territory with a Ukrainian passport.
The Security Service of Ukraine also confirms this information. Of course, Ukrainian soldiers are at the greatest risk, however, and the civilian population is at risk too.
"Evidence of our people say about the inhuman cruelty and cynicism. The enemy has resorted to various forms and methods of pressure. If you can not break down psychologically, you are tortured physically. They make people starve, blackmail them, including with the murder of their relatives and friends", - the head of the SBU Vasyl Hrytsak said at a press briefing.
The SBU even found out the addresses of eight torture chambers in Donetsk and Luhansk. They noted that tortures are carried out not only by representatives of illegal armed groups, but also by the employees of the Russian special services.
The addresses of torture chambers in Donetsk:
1. 7 Artema Str, LLC DT Ukrtrans.
2. 4 Kobozeva Str, (pre-trial detention center №5).
3. 15 Molodezhnaya Str.
4. 18 Krasnoarmeyskaya Str, Military Topographic Directorate.
5. 7-b Pushkin Boulevard.
6. 62 Shchors Str , former office of the SBU.
The addresses of torture chambers in Luhansk:
1. 24 Street, line 4, the pre-trial detention center.
2. 1 Pochtovaya Str, the "LPR" headquarters.
You can find yourself "in the basement" even for spreading positive information about life in Ukraine, Heorhiy Tuka says.
"Of course, the danger exists. I recently talked with a young man, whose mother lives in the uncontrolled territory. She came here for some paperwork. The woman was pleasantly surprised when everything took only 15 minutes. She burst into tears and said that if she tells about it in Donetsk, she will be captured in 2-3 days for such an elementary positive information about Ukraine", - he said.
Pavlo Lisyansky, the head of the organization "Eastern Human Rights Group" states that the so-called "law enforcement" militants have a plan, according to which they sentence people for minor violations, for example, for possession of firearm. Thus, they increase the labor fund and enrich on their work.
"On the territories beyond the control of Ukraine, the rights of people are being violated in all spheres of life. Now the problem is acute for prisoners of war and detainees. Prisoners of war are those soldiers who were captured while taking part in the fighting. And the detainees are those who were serving sentences for crimes committed before 2014, but after the "DPR" and "LPR" declared about their existence, they began to serve their sentences under the laws of the "republics", and their work is used free of charge. The prisoners of war work and manufacture items as well. In fact, in the 21st century we have a mini-slave state, which profits from the people", - he said.
People's Deputy Serhiy Taruta notes there is particular risk of a return for those who are wealthy.
"It is very dangerous to come back to the occupied Donbass. No one can insure your life safety. Especially if a person has some kind of material resources. According to the latest information, the amount of money that comes from Russia decreases, and they begin to rob not only wealthy homes. I was told that such towns as Zuevka, Zugres, Shahtersk were heavily looted and almost destroyed. For example, I do not dream about returning to the Donbass. I dream about peace. All my belongings were captured and looted, so I have nowhere to go back", - the former head of the Donetsk region says.
We can not talk about security guarantees for all the inhabitants of the region where militants and terrorists are in power. Those who come or return from the "hostile Ukraine" are under special supervision and attention. Therefore, the decision about going to the "DPR" should be very considered, because it would be extremely difficult to get help on the uncontrolled territories.
Vladyslav Bulatchik, OstroV