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Luhansk journal. The great power of propaganda 02/02/2017 15:05:00. Total views 1826. Views today — 0.

The world around us is like a brightest journey in which you are only a traveler. You can just open your eyes wide and absorb everything that happens around. It's like a visit to an outlandish, exotic country in which we are guests who are not able to change anything, but are able to consider all what happens around to keep the memories for a lifetime.

Are our estimates and opinions important? Even if you let everything through yourself, it turns out to be like a super action movie with an unpredictable ending. Over the past three days, I was impressed by three stories, which I will try to summarize.

Shchastya. Yesterday I heard a pitiful story of how Ukrainian military destroyed student ID cards and record books of the local students at the Shchastya checkpoint. It started as usual: who are you, where are you going? Oh, the students of the university? The LPR university? We know of only the Ukrainian university with the same name and it is in Starobelsk, so your record books are invalid – and tore them into pieces. The kids were all in tears. The same kids told me (and fifty more listeners) how the Ukrainian military have repeatedly taken away the medication, which they were carrying for a sick grandfather from the Ukrainian territory to the "republic".

"They took it as if to throw away, and they shall sell them later". We listened to all that pitiful stories, shaking our heads being sympathetic to the narrators and disapproval to the actions of the Ukrainian military. The parents of these storytellers live on the territory of the lawful Ukraine, and the children study in the "republic" because of “the Russian diplomas": "We feel that Russia is closer for us. But we go home to get some money and groceries from our mothers - you need to live here somehow".

I am not judging these guys - nowadays everyone decides what is closer to them and where they see the future for themselves. But I know quite a few of those who managed to draw social benefits from both Ukraine and the "republic”.

Someone does not hide it, and someone is afraid to jinx it. There are those who are adventurous travels from there to here, importing medicines, foods, cash in UAH. And then go back with the local pension payment. Although they do not hide that they thumbed their nose at this “LPR thing”.

The Carpathians. Today my friend excitedly told me how wonderfully he spent ten days in the Carpathians. He stayed in Truskavets town, went snowboarding and skiing, went out to lots of local cafes.

This was recently, right after the New year’s day. I was amazed - how? But this friend of mine was impenetrable – he crossed the bridge to Stanitsa, reached Starobelsk, then Kharkiv and Lviv and from Lviv he finally got to Truskavets. There are lots of available places to stay at.

Locals just want to make some profit, so my friend’s family did not even make a secret of where they came from. Locals said that the war decreased number of tourists – they do not longer come from the Donbass and Russia. There are lots of vacant houses, investments are not justified. My friend and his family felt really relaxed there and now he tells everyone about the great vacation in the Carpathians.

I have learned my lesson. Once I was directly asked: "Who do you support?" This was a question from a man who welcomed all the changes taking place here. And after that malicious look and trembling with anger voice, I do not tell my real opinion to everyone that easily.

But my friend has not burnt his fingers yet, he tells everything with a smile. While listening to him, I have an impression that there is no war, there is no loss of life, there are only problems with the long tiresome journey of getting there and back. So someone destroys students’ IDs and takes away the medication, and someone of military age and athletic appearance residing in Luhansk lives behind enemy lines for 10 days and enjoys local hospitality without hiding his Russian dialect or origins.

In general, I have noticed that there is something strange in all these stories. Someone goes past all the checkpoints with almost mystical ease and someone has to throw contents of their bags right on the snow and answer all these “why, where, how” questions for hours. Those students told that Ukrainian military takes away medicine and alcohol at the checkpoints, but no one took that away from me whenever I passed the checkpoint. But I can not argue or deny their words - maybe I was just lucky?

But following this paradoxical logic, they simply could not let out the young man’s family for a tourist trip to the Carpathian Mountains...

Kremlin Christmas trees. The third story is the funniest. My friend was lucky enough to accompany the "republic" children to see the Kremlin Christmas tree.

They talk about that Christmas tree as of the most important thing ever: every local television and radio news show the happy children who were taken to Moscow for the best celebration of the New Year's Eve... Actually local news cannot stop broadcasting this topic since December. In summer, children are taken to Russian resorts, in winter – to see the Christmas trees.

My friend accompanies these children and does not hide the fact she was lucky. She got enlisted for that somehow and since then she travels regularly. This time they were the children of the dead militants, gifted children and children of the local authorities. Approximately 40% to 60%, 82 children in general. That is, 40% were the gifted children and orphans, and 60% - the children of those in power. Of course, they were on a Moscow sightseeing guided tour, visited the zoo, saw the main Christmas tree and stayed in a nice hotel...

But how do you get into this elite list? Which position do you need to take to go to the sea in summer and to Moscow in winter like that? Is this not corruption in the brightest of its manifestations, when children of the authorities take such trips for the "republican" money? Well, of course, one might say that these children are among the gifted - try to prove the opposite. But the fact remains.

Corruption, with which they allegedly fight from every billboard, is indestructible. By the way, just a fun fact – you may report on bribery and other violations of the law just by a phone call or a letter. Anonymous calls are not accepted, but nevertheless - welcome to a fair society in which corruption is virtually reduced to nothing. At least, every cashier in local "state banks" knows that they can be fired just for a chocolate bar left on the counter by grateful clients...

Olha Kucher, Luhansk, for OstroV