conflict zones, latest
Leave a Comment

The Reality of Life in Donetsk

by Systematic

DONETSKopera
As shelling went on nearby, Yuri Dulumbaji was set to perform with the Donetsk National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. Credit Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

1. General situation

It’s stable, the city is alive. It’s very clean, decorated, roads are being repaired, you see fresh surfaces everywhere, utility crews are working around the clock, you can see educational institutions advertised everywhere, also ads for important city events and happenings. Maybe not a million roses are blooming, but definitely 500 thousand. Problems: they are shelling Kievskiy and Petrovskiy subdivisions without pity, Tekstilshchik is also being hit, Oktyabrskiy is being ground into dirt, so in those parts people aren’t living, they are surviving.

2. Education

All schools, kindergartens, universities, and technical schools are working. So are arts palaces, the soccer academy, etc. The language of instruction remains the same as before, if a school was a Ukrainian-language one, it remains that way right now. Any talk about a language problem is a lie and provocation.

Graduates are receiving DPR certificates and get free bus trips to Rostov to take the Unified State Exam and to enter Russian universities on Russia’s budget. Problems: kids who left to finish their 11th grade in Russia have Russian certificates but Ukrainian passports, which means the Russian government won’t pay for their higher education.

Kids entering local colleges need only a DPR certificate and entrance exam results. College graduates receive two diplomas apiece. For example, the medical college issued local diplomas and, after special exams, also the diplomas of the 1st Moscow Medical after the college obtained the proper license. Those graduates who believed their previous fraudster dean and left Donetsk now have big problems. They did not get diplomas, only grade sheets. So now you have situation like these: you study for six years and get only a transcript, you suddenly have to pay for dorms, and your future is foggy. It’s a sad situation.

3. Healthcare

Everything is working. Patients are taken care of thanks to Russian humanitarian aid, through MChS and concerned citizens [like Dunya Sheremetyeva…], for which they are owed tremendous gratitude. Before the war, there were about 200 births in Donetsk, now only 70-80. Pharmacies: half are closed, the rest have medicines except of Ukrainian manufacture. You can’t compare prices with Kiev’s, because some drugs are much cheaper, others are more expensive, but the majority comes from different sources so it’s impossible to compare.

Problems: the irregularity with which humanitarian cargoes arrive at hospitals, and the high prices for some drugs.

4. Transportation.

City transit works like clockwork. There are more cars in spite of gas problems. No military equipment on the streets, sometimes you see a camouflaged vehicle or a military truck, but that’s all. Problems: gasoline, we’re out of it since last week, they are promising deliveries, but so far gas stations are empty.

5. Shops, restaurants, theaters

They are working. Supermarkets have local, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian products. You can get anything you want at markets, I found a supplier of my favorite yoghurt, he says its forbidden and dangerous to carry yoghurt through Ukrainian checkpoints, like narcotics, for example. Therefore you have to give bribes for loyalty which raises prices. Problems: the blockade. It’s like Leningrad during the war. Once again, many thanks to Russia for humanitarian convoys. And one pities Ukrainian manufacturers: they lost a huge market which is now being conquered by Rostov, Krasnodar, and other Russian regions. […]

Read in full The Reality of Life in Donetsk: a local inhabitant tells the story at Fort Russ


Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole