By Elena Grigorieva
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
I am facing this question only now, and not when Rossia24 and the sell-out yes-men were shouting about it many months ago. All because the fighters moved from the fields to the winter quarters, some straight to the villages, and the issue became apparent.
The Kremlin’s propaganda began to work only now, and from the side that no-one expected or defended against. The Kremlin’s propaganda specifically for Western Ukraine – that which was not controlled and was lost, and many people never even noticed it… specifically, these words, sweet to any man: “you are not like them… they are stupid…” smoothly turning into “they are hateful stupid LuganDons and DOmBasses, it is all their fault… freaks… they are not even Ukraine really… give them to us… oops, I mean to them… I mean to the Rushists… and all the problems will be over…”
Do you recognise this?
These thoughts are swirling in our glorious western Ukrainian heads not because we came up with them ourselves. It is because they decided so in the Kremlin. That this is exactly what you and yours must think like. Instead of thinking for yourselves.
And by the way, Ukraine is united. And her division by many nationalists on her and in Donbas will not lead to anything good. Especially considering how many fighters, including from Donetsk and Luhansk, gave their lives for Ukraine. And because of it the whining of the armchair prosecutors against the residents of Donbas sounds particularly disgusting…
About as disgusting as when a fighter armed with an assault rifle, one of the new and ‘green’ ones, suddenly walks into one of the regional administration buildings in the ATO zone and lays six of the female workers face down, shouting: “I will teach you to love the motherland”… no doubt, compared to the atrocities of the “insurgents” this is nothing, but it does not make it less disgusting, because if we compare everything with the atrocities of the insurgents, you are allowed almost anything.
The Ukrainians of Donbas have ended up caught between the hammer of Rushism and the anvil of the hellish attitudes of Ukrainians from other regions towards them. What can be done about all this? How should fighters, for example, behave around locals, and people of central and western Ukraine – around refugees?
It is important to recognise and take into account several things:
1) Do not talk to them if you’re not sober. At all.
2) If a person does not have weapons aimed against you – he is a Ukrainian, a victim of Russian occupants.
3) It is necessary to bear in mind their mental state and those horrors of war which, most likely, they lived through. Many lost loved ones and livelihoods, and all of their earnings.
4) For a long time an unending aggressive stream of enemy propaganda was directed at them. It is still being directed at many of them, and we are not doing much to counter that. Especially if we call names and mud-throw.
5) There were many cases of aggressive and illegal actions, both by bandits disguised as the Ukrainian army, and by some donkeys actually from the Ukrainian army. With us most of these donkeys were punished, but the bitter feeling remained.
6) Donbas is Ukraine, in fact it is about the most Ukrainian Ukraine there is. It is precisely these steppes that spawned the freedom-loving Ukrainian Cossacks.
7) If a local starts speaking against Ukraine or getting aggressive, we look at his passport. If the passport was received recently – earlier than 4-5 years ago – we report the character to the SBU to check whether he is a Russian operative. Because there is such a pile of stinkers in Donbas, who pass as locals, who simply bought the passport of Ukraine and are conducting subversive activities, including those of an informational and psychological nature.
8) It is important to remember and to make known specific instances of positive interaction with locals, and not simply all the crap that floats up to the surface that is carefully repeated by the Kremlin’s mass media who are trying their hardest to do one thing – to divide various regions of our unified people.
And separately let’s pay attention and think about what will become if we leave everything as it is. Communication with locals through gritted teeth. Or accusations spoken loudly in public places… even if the locals are for Ukraine and even speak Ukrainian. Drunken anger at locals in the absence of a real enemy worthy of battle… and many other things that hurt any local, especially if he is a patriot of Ukraine, then leaving a bloody wound not on his body, but on his soul…
From the consequences we can distinguish firstly a lack or reduction of help from locals towards our guys.
Secondly, although not many will join the side of the enemy, knowing them, but still the people will remember all the unpleasant moments that they had to endure from you. And if you were cruel towards them, even if only in words. And later on this memory of theirs will be taken advantage of by the next shitty politician of Donbas, in addition it will affect their children, and that means on the formation of the nation, its interests and decisions. And ask yourself, whose fault will it be…
And this is only in the case that there be no escalation of inter-Ukrainian tension provoked by enemies. Here this reserve can be used for any objectives. The most important thing for us about these objectives is only that if anything happens, it is specifically us who will have to pay for their feast with our blood and property. In case of our lack of awareness of course… and we only have to realize one simple truth: Ukraine and its country is united. One.
- “We met a student from Donbas. One of those Euromaidaners of Donetsk who was arrested, beaten and shot at for Ukraine. His story: ‘we were transferred with our institution to Vinnytsia, but some students from Vinnytsia say that if we appear there, they will kill us.” His hands are visibly shaking. It is unclear whether it is from his past experiences or from the hurt…”
- “You fucking stood for several months on EUROmaidan for European values. And now people who are in big trouble feel a lack of care and humiliations, and everyone points fingers without even knowing the person ‘it is your fault.’ Although maybe he had nothing to do with it. Maybe he was just living quietly. Or maybe he supported Maidan, or even went out on mega-dangerous rallies in Donetsk, when there were already over 1,000 armed crazed militants? And all of this is European? You know, those people who were afraid of the humiliations, who were afraid to seek help, went back to the dangerous cities and died there, they are on your consciences.“
- “We are standing at a gas station, filling up. And a small girl comes up to me from the car next to us. And says: “sir, give me your hand!” I held out my hand. And she tied a yellow-and-blue bracelet on it. Can you imagine?”… midway through the story the fighter had tears of emotion and joy. The location where this took place – Luhansk region.“
WHY DO SOME REFUGEES NOT FIGHT IN THE ATO?
1. Some have real problems with their health. Yes, this happens. And we do not have the money to treat them.
2. Maybe you are in the ATO and your wife and kids are in Lviv, Chernivtsi (or wherever), in their homes, and have jobs and the support of the relatives. The refugees do not have homes. They are sometimes denied a job even if they are fully qualified, simply because of their place of residence. They have to look after their wives and kids, arrange housing and the basics, provide food. And if you are not in the ATO I believe that you do not have the right to demand this of other Ukrainians, regardless of their place of residence.
3. Many of those eastern Ukrainians willing to fight for Ukraine simply do not get accepted for the war. Nowadays they take them, but in limited numbers. They check them.
4. In fact, having said all of that, there are far more fighters from eastern Ukraine defending the country if we look at the percentages. After all there are several of their battalions there. In addition they do not desert.