History Museum

This bomb fragment was found in the Krupskaya Park in Pervomaysk.
You like going to museums? I don’t, and perhaps I visited the local history museum only after two years of constant visits to this city.
You won’t notice the bomb immediately–it’s off in the corner, and its huge.
The other exhibits take up half the room. For example, Smerch rockets.
Once upon a time Grad and Smerch were mere words. Now I can even tell them apart. Local kids can distinguish not only by appearance, but by sound and range–tanks, howitzers, mortars, etc. They would correct me when I tried to guess who was shooting.

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Hail

There was hail in Lugansk.
The sort of hail that is not written using a capital letter or quotation marks [a reference to the Grad, i.e. “Hail” 122mm artillery rockets used to bombard Novorossia’s cities].
The right sort of hail.
Which makes you run into the house and lock the door behind you with wet hands just in time.
There was thunder off in the distance. Prolonged and loud.
Today, at the market, we heard distant shell explosions. Nobody even turned their heads–everyone continued moving between the stalls.
Besides, why turn one head if it’s so far away? Buying food for the supper is more important.
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Hello LPR!

Lugansk always greets you in a new way.
Either with a bombed-out road at night, or multi-kilometer waiting lines at the customs.
This time it met us with a calm haze and a stunning sunset, which provided a backdrop for the harvesters.
And yet even during the summer of 2014, when shells were exploding, the harvest was also brought in. But for some reason this time this sight made it possible to relax.
Big machines, smoothly doing their job. No matter what.


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Novorossiya Graffiti

If you want to see a city, get on a bus.
If you wanna understands its inhabitants, ask for cigarettes from passers-by at bus stop.
If you want to absorb the essence of time and place, look at what’s written on the walls.
“Kittie was here,” four-letter expressions of fertility, and “Masha is a stupid c***” is the very essence of life.
Zarya (Dawn) is one of the militia battalions.


“Zarya is mowing dill” (Ukrop, slang for Ukrainian)

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Donbass Sketches

Every time I arrive, I always have the sense of emptiness.
And at the same time the sense of fullness that overflows all boundaries.
One either wants to write without end, or keep silent forever.
The life within the Republics is continuing, and I am trying to capture it.
“Ilyich in a forest”?
That’s rich.


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Donbass on International Women’s Day

We arrived in Pervomaysk right on that day.
The city has bloomed.
Half destroyed, showered by shells, it was nevertheless basking in the Sun.
And it was made beautiful by its girls and women.
We arrived, as promised, with gifts.
Olga Ishchenko, the wife of killed Zhenya, is continuing the work of this great Man. She’s now the acting mayor.
We caught her at the executive committee with a kid. Her eyes expressed extreme exhaustion and indescribable pain.
Pain which cannot be understood or explained. Her lover, friend, comrade, husband, father of her children, was taken from her.
Can you imagine this fragile beauty is bearing the entire city on her shoulders?

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