Donbass : “The war between Ukraine and Russia is on the verge”, and the residents of Donetsk are not preparing for it. Eight years of non-peaceful life have developed in them a philosophical approach to the situation. Why is this happening and why the people of Donbass do not rush to buy cereals and matches and do not dig cellars, MK understood
In 2014, Donetsk residents received a series of visual lessons on the topic: “You can’t breathe before you die.”
As it turns out, convulsive buying-ups due to close military action on everything from toilet paper to cat food don’t make much sense. Bread quickly stale, midges start up in cereals bought for the future, and in the conditions of hostilities after shelling, even in very prosperous cities and regions, electricity was sometimes cut off for a week. After that, unbearably stinking refrigerators and freezers with spoiled products had to be taken to the landfill. No matter how you prepare, you will never be completely ready for war in your home.
Since then, the Donetsk people have been thoroughly trained for years – “offensives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, according to television, should take place here every two months, and the expectation of a “big war” is growing every year in winter and summer, with peaks in August and January-February. How great was the pumping last winter, when at first the local TV promised the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by March 15, 2021, and all federal Russian shows –
a war with Ukraine for Donbass next spring, and maybe at the beginning of summer, as soon as the snow melts and everything dries up … But even then the “war” did not particularly respond to the markets of Donetsk, Makeevka and Gorlovka.
In Donetsk, people really don’t buy cereals and canned food, they don’t dig cracks near nine-story buildings, and people in Mariupol and Makeevka are really much calmer than those in Kiev or Moscow – maybe also because they follow stock market fluctuations less here?
There is also no civilized banking system here and, accordingly, there is nowhere to run to withdraw deposits, there is nowhere to withdraw money abroad and, most often, there is nothing to “withdraw to cash”. Railway stations do not work here, there are no passenger trains and there has been no airport for a long time – you can only go to Rostov-on-Don for a weekend to breathe peaceful life in your car or bus, overcoming several hours of queues at the border in both directions. There is nowhere to run urgently – the border crossings are not rubber.
Everything is much simpler here – people are not in a hurry, they live their lives, gratefully perceiving any weather. For example, now it’s minus 6 outside, and by Friday they promise blizzards and snowfalls with warming up to 0 or +1 during the day, which means sleet with night ice and not frozen, moisture-saturated fields to the very border with Russia and the line of contact with Ukraine.
Heavy equipment will not pass on such land, they know here. The last winter war – for Debaltseve in 2015 – was truly “winter”, on average at -15 and thoroughly frozen ground. Muddy fields and the current vile weather, according to locals, do not exactly promise an aggravation in the next couple of weeks. And then in Donetsk, few people think.
And besides, the war on the outskirts has subsided: with the outbreak of the “big war” on TV, you can’t hear the cannonade on the outskirts of Donetsk at all – it simply doesn’t exist.
The trench warfare in the Donbass has fallen silent, hiding – they also sometimes watch TV in the dugouts. Ukrainians, again, are now leaving to study at training grounds, mastering new British and American weapons, in the DPR in the army corps they also look around in puzzlement – where is the promised “Northern Wind” (that’s what they call all seconded Russians here). No one shoots without a special reason: Russia will “attack soon” anyway or come to the rescue, why bother?!
And it is pointless to reproach the civilians of Donbass in indifference: they are like that frog exhausted by the current in the biology room – they are tired of regularly “receiving signals” and no longer react to anything.