By Andrey Kurkov, Ukrainian novelist who writes in Russian
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
About real life in the occupied DNR and “cute little fascists.”
Russian writer Andrey Kurkov writes about this on his Facebook page.
“This evening I met with a man who had just come from Donetsk. He talked about life there. Two hotels are open and full of journalists – Ramada (room for $110 euro, spaghetti lunch $150 hyrvanias) and Park Inn, in the Hotel Liverpool – a torture chamber and prison, he does not know about the Premier Palace. Recently Zakharchenko met with students. The room was full, the students listened carefully about the future of the DNR then they asked about salaries. “What are you studying?” Zakharchenko asked with interest. “Chemistry” one student answered. “Study how to make bombs, then you’ll be able to make money for life!” advised the DNR head.
Every evening in the lobby of the Ramada a dozen men appear with submachine guns and a big man in camouflage comes down the stairs with a suitcase. This is the daily revenue collection, as it’s called. No one knows where he goes. Akhmetov is treated with silent respect, his foundation continues to feed the elderly citizens of Donetsk, mention the word “Yanukovych” and their faces show rage, then disgust.
The DNR transport minister in charge of the Donetsk railway carries a pistol under his jacket. He says that before Maidan he was the official representative of the Russian National Unity in Donetsk, this despite the fact that the RNU was officially prohibited in the Russian Federation.
He talks politely with journalists and gives an almost positive impression – a “cute little fascist” – is what a man who managed to talk with him called him. The picture of Donetsk is taking shape slowly and with difficulty, but not owing to Ukrainian journalists, who, apparently, are not there,” Kurkov writes.