The problem of the refugees: a lucky chance or an irreversible threat

Valeriy Pekar, UP

Some journalists have already started talking about “refugees from hot spots.” We think in words, and many of our military problems are rooted in the fact that we have spent too much time calling the occupants “green men,” and the terrorists “the militia” etc. 

There are no “hot spots” and no “refugees” in Ukraine. 

In Ukraine, there is a zone of activity of terrorist organisations and there are refugees from it. 

Therefore lets not talk about “refugees from hot spots,” but about refugees from the zone of terrorist organisation activities.  Continue reading

Bezler and emptiness. What awaits Donbas after the war

Yekaternia Sergatsova

Journalist from UP.Life Yekaterina Sergatsova talked to the Donetsk intellectuals about the reasons of what is happening in Donbas, and what awaits the region after the war is over.

“Donbas is a region which has definitely inherited the system of values that existed in the Soviet Union: historical paternalism, dominance of collective values, historical memory, for the most part oriented towards the Soviet heritage,” Dmitro Mironovich, culture sociologist in charge of the sociology lab in one of the Donetsk universities, begins our conversation.

According to Mironovich, such moods were beneficial for the local government: the economy of the region which had been created in the USSR has not changed. Consequentially, the lifestyle of the citizens in the region has not changed either.  Continue reading

Our goal is peace, not war – Poroshenko met with the government of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko presented the peace plan for the regulation of the situation in the east of the country at the meeting with the representatives of the legitimate government of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

“During the meeting the head of state presented 14 points of the peace plan in the east of the country. In particular, Poroshenko emphasised the importance of amending the Constitution of Ukraine to decentralise the government. The President noted that the according project of the amendments to the Main Law will be sent for examination by the Venetian Committee,” repors the press service of the head of state.  Continue reading

Refugees from Donbas as seen by the volunteers

Recently, Facebook posts have become more frequent about the fact that those who have come from the eastern regions act somehow strangely, they are rude and dissatisfied with everything, even though they themselves have always been the least politically active citizens of Ukraine.  Continue reading

Volodymyr Groysman: “In the nearest 5-10 years Ukraine will be the most interesting country in Europe” 

Volodymyr Groysman’s tenure as vice Prime Minister could have ended after the 100 days that he had worked in Arseniy Yatseniuk’s team. Immediately after the inauguration, President Petro Poroshenko asked him to lead his Administration. Groysman refused, motivating it with the necessity to finish what he started in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Essentially, the reform of local government. 

“If we are to give power to the oblasts, we will get feudal principalities; no, the power should be delegated to territorial communities directly,” says Groysman. In “civilian life,” so before Maidan, the young mayor of Vinnytsya was considered one of the most successful mayors in the country. Mobilised to the government, today he works in the office he inherited from Olexandr Vilkil and Boris Kolesnikov.

Groysman has already prepared the theoretical basis of the reform, the realisation of which in practice is being halted by war. In addition, purely political circumstances are unfolding as well: the new Constitution, re-election, without which any means will be half-baked.

This interview is the dissolution of stereotypes. The stereotype that decentralisation is something extremely complex and complicated, that one cannot make sense of that. That it is not beneficial to regular citizens, but the local elites, which are simply fooling the regular citizens. That decentralisation and coherent budget policies are discordant. That Donbas is unique in its demands to be “heard in Kyiv.” 

“I remember the social investigations that were conducted from time to time in central Ukraine. In particular, in Vinnytsya. The measures of non-acceptance of the central government: the President, Prime Minister, its other representatives, is stably over 50%. Anti-ratings were simply off the scale,” says Groysman.  Continue reading

“We will shoot you now and nobody will look for you!” – How “Berkut” veterans are living with Maidan veterans

This week I was supposed to be in the territorial defence battalion “Aidar” with the Ukrainian Defence Ministry. Instead of this, I am writing this blog in Somy.

I will try to avoid being emotional in describing our adventures to the maximum.  Continue reading

Modernisation or burnt ground, what awaits Donetsk Oblast

Donetsk oblast, until recently, has been a region that developed rapidly – a good investment climate, a sport capital, socially responsible business and resonant cultural events – this is what the land was associated with in the thoughts of Ukrainians. Numerous state and nongovernment programs were planned for the following years (infrastructure projects, development of civil society, scheduled sporting competitions on a continental scale). However life has added its correctives. Already the region has decided against a number of projects. At the moment they are not talking about the development of Donetsk oblast, but simply the retention of its livelihood and at least some economical attractiveness. 
Continue reading

Russia is supporting chaos in Donbas – expert

Moscow – On June 11th, a meeting under the slogan “We stand for Donbas” is being gathered in Moscow. According to the organisers of the meeting, the goal is to “express support to the brotherly people of Novorossiya, the citizens of the newly-created PRD and PRL and all Russians in Ukraine.” It is expected that the meeting will be attended by the leadership of the so-called People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Meanwhile the majority of Russians supports the separatists in the East of Ukraine. And experts conclude: the Kremlin’s aim is not the annex of Donbas following the Crimean scenario, but the support of chaos in this Ukrainian region. 
Continue reading

“Donbas” military base 

Anna Agafonova, economist, member of the business community IZOne, Donetsk

It seems to us that what we are living now has not been seen before, it seems that Donetsk’s case is unique. But other countries have already survived all this. 

The reasons for what is happening in our country are the same as the reasons that led to World War II. In the beginning of the previous century, in Europe, as a result of instances of industrial monopoly the capital and power were concentrated in the hands of oligarchs and technocratic managers.

Liberal economies, oligarchy, corruption and lack of social lifts cost thousands of people their lives. The events in Ukraine can be easily compared with the police and private security service shooting of the peaceful demonstration “Hunger March” of the fired workers at the factories of a well-known figure, Ford. Continue reading

Introduction to peaceful reality. Military correspondent Babchenko on the situation in Slovyansk and life after war

Journalist Arkadiy Babchenko is one of the few colleagues from Russia who is trying to make sense of the situation in the East of Ukraine. Really make sense of it. He is not putting labels, he does not tolerate official definitions and he does not shy away from posing uncomfortable questions, which he is not scared to get a black eye for.

Babchenko is outside of official journalism. His work is his personal blog “Journalism without mediators,” which exists thanks to charitable donations of the readers. For many his blog has become as “coordinate system” of sorts. For others, an excuse to call him a national traitor.  Continue reading