I was sorting through the photos from our March visit to Lugansk and found this one.
That’s how the three kids of Ira and Petya were seeing us off. They are from Pervomaysk, or rather from a small village nearby that’s under UAF control.
It was snowing, and the boys were glued to the window and kept waving to us while we were trying to start the car. We looked at each other to the last.
Now it’s hot summer, Moscow and other big cities are up to their ears in the World Cup carnival.
I remember the tiniest details of the moment when I first learned about what happened in Odessa four years ago. I was in a hurry so I understood nothing. In the evening I started reading. But even then I understood nothing.
I understood nothing on the next day. My newsfeed consisted of Navalnyy and other oppositionist nonsense drooling over the yellow-blue flag. I didn’t know what to read and how to understand it. I didn’t understand the people with beautiful faces who were saving dogs or were posting about people without hands who were drawing but on that day wrote about the “smoked hundred.” My friends, my acquaintances. To be sure, I didn’t realize what was happening, I thought there was some mistake, a misunderstanding. Because one can’t talk like that about living people.
The realization came later, after some time.
I rolled out a huge post about the elections, but then erased it all to hell.
It’s boring, although, to be honest, it’s also boring for you.
Let me tell you one story about being convinced of the rightness of your ideas.
There is a woman, Lyubov Mikhailovna Chernykh from Lugansk. I wrote about her in 2015. This woman lost a leg and an arm during the summer of 2014 when she was scooping out dead chickens. The chicken farm was hit by several shells, the chickens all died and started to rot. To prevent the plague from spreading to other parts of the farm and to the city itself, the chickens had to be removed as quickly as possible. It was unusually hot, and the corpses were decomposing, turning into a plague- and maggot-ridden sludge. The workers and local inhabitants all went out to clean up the mess. It was impossible to remain inside the farm sheds for long–the women (and it was mostly women) were collapsing from the heat and the stench.
This news has been reverberating for days.
But I didn’t at first understand what this was about.
Because LPR and DPR passports have had de-facto recognition for at least a year.
What does it mean?
As far as I understand, juridical recognition means that you can be admitted into a country that recognizes the document’s validity. Which means the customs will let you through the border.
About a year ago, in the spring, we were helping a woman from Stakhanov get into a hospital in Moscow. She had an LPR passport. She crossed the border with no trouble, and no institution anywhere rejected her passport as an official document. I even remember that the doctor, upon seeing her passport, smiled and summoned his colleagues to have a look–see, these are the passports LPR is issuing. This was in Moscow.
Thousands of people who know nothing about Cuba, about the revolution are expressing their opinions based only on stereotypes. In Miami there is a celebration with fireworks–people there were told that in Cuba there was Satan who smoked cigars and drank children’s blood.
So let me tell you.
The newsfeed has come alive. Everyone wants to express joy at the fact they know who first voiced which phrase.
It reminds one of hipsterism overcome by the sense of its own elitism whenever it sees the word “coffee” used as if it were a neuter noun. In all this noise, what’s curious is not the fact that Poklonskaya is immersed in literature bur rather the joy with which everyone pounced on her.
When I read about Motorola’s death, my insides churned.
As they did a year and a half ago when we, after an accident, in the midst of fighting, were going to the Donbass with aid, and we got a call that Zhenya Ishchenko was killed. The acting mayor of Pervomaysk. Someone who would take unexploded shells out of the asphalt with his bare hands and who delivered bread to bomb shelters even as shells kept falling. Who personally dug up people from under the rubble. Several volunteers from Moscow were killed too, and everyone thought it was us.
A little about the commander of the humanitarian “Angel Battalion”, Aleksey Smirnov, who was arrested in DPR.
I don’t know Lyosha personally. Or, more accurately, we’ve never met. I haven’t even known of his existence for a long time, and he didn’t know about mine.
I found out about him accidentally, during a volunteer debate which broke out in the news feed. They were talking about a self-promoter Lyosha who goes by the nickname Rezhissyor [Director, as in movies]. Lyosha in reality is a director, though I don’t know what he has directed. Perhaps nothing–but that’s not the issue. What is the issue is that he and a group of 12 people has been evacuating people from under shellfire since the first days of the war, and is also providing humanitarian aid.
You, the unknown “girl from Ukraine” who wrote a veritable “Yaroslavna’s wail”, why do you hate Russians–you, who are spreading this mass hysteria of Russophobia, you are distorting meanings in every phrase you use. Do you hear me?
You wrote that post in the Russian language. You are using concepts from my culture, not yours.
What do you know about fear?
What do you know about pain?
You’ve seen soldiers in the streets?
Read someone else’s posts? Spent hours in front of the TV?
You are concerned for the kids who are forced, in schools, to draw cranes flying home and send them to soldiers?
What do you know about war, aside from internet hand-wringing by imaginary wives?
I’ll tell you what you need to know.