EYEWITNESS: Story from Luhansk

By Tikhon Sergey Kulbaka, Donetsk 09.06.2014 Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine I had a little chat today with two typical “soldiers” of the LuhanDon Republic [Luhansk/Donetsk], whom we have the honor of seeing every day on the streets and barricades of the city of Donetsk. Two lads, 19 and 20 years old, in camouflage with machine guns, went to the supermarket to do some shopping, thankfully not to loot. They were behind me in the queue. I started the conversation; it was interesting to know what they were doing. The boys turned out to be talkative. They “worked” at one of the roadblocks in Donetsk. They get food and drink, and they said they were very well paid, but did not say how much. They had been provided with camouflage uniforms and weapons. They get to do special operations from time to time. They are very happy with their “work.” One had worked as a gofer in a market, and the other had been a casual worker, almost unemployed. Now everything is hunky dory, gobsmacking! Girls love them, idiots fear them. Standing upright, they look around, haughty and supercilious. They have gone from being a nobody to a somebody. I asked them if they were working now. No, they are going round the town in their off-duty time, in camouflage and with their weapons so that people respect them. I ask why they were doing that–there was war on the street, and people could kill an armed person in camouflage. “We’re fighting for freedom!” They answered. I asked them what they meant: “Whose freedom and from whom?” “You know, these people…” Further ideological substantiations, and their details ran out. But they are aware of the awesome importance of their mission as defenders. I asked if they had already had to use their machine guns. One of them with pride said that he had shot the foot of some guy “so that he didn’t mess around!” I asked about their prospects, as sooner or later the war will end, and what would they do then? Their startled eyes opened wide: “What do you mean? Keep on fighting!” “Fight with who; the war will end sooner or later and you’ll have to give the weapons back!” “No, how can I give it back? It’s my machine gun…I’ve started to live, before…” (he dries up, he understood he was talking nonsense)… “No one respected me, now everyone respects me… no, I can’t do without my machine gun!” It was my turn to pay, so the conversation came to an end. There are hundreds and thousands of these “soldiers” in Donetsk. They won’t be giving up their arms. They have felt the power and strength that the weapons give them. Before you were nothing, but now people lower their eyes on the street and give way–it is like a drug. They are hooked on a drug. They are already dependent on it. They will remember these times of conflict as the brightest and happiest days of their lives. They’ll do anything for these times to come back. And their biggest argument will be the machine gun that they will not give up voluntarily. Source: Tikhon Sergey Kulbaka FB

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This entry was posted in "Voices" in English, English, Eyewitness stories, South&Eastern Ukraine and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to EYEWITNESS: Story from Luhansk

  1. Good article showing the eastern Ukrainian future partially created by Russia.

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