The Right to Choose

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.

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Meanwhile in LPR…

I have visited the Donbass so many times already that all the years are running together. But this trip stands out for several reasons. Including bicycles and empty bus stops.
There are many cyclists on the roads. Big groups, small groups, with backpacks, without–there are really many of them. Several times more than ever before.
There is also far less Republic symbolism along the roads. There was a time, particularly during the summer of 2015, when all the bus stops were repainted. One could see pathos-laden “Donbass, don’t be sad. We’ll break through”, “Donbass, hang on” slogans everywhere. I couldn’t keep up photographing them. But now they are almost all gone.

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The Bridge to Crimea

That’s what it looks like right now.
They say it will be ready in 2018.
Right now all the cars are held hostage by good weather. Any storm or a strong squall, and everyone freezes in expectation. There are many ferries, which means the situation is very different than two years ago when one could spend days waiting to get through.
Now the wait is short, but the sea is the sea.
We got stuck when leaving Crimea during the storm.

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Liza, Farewell

The church is silent, except for the constant clicking of the cameras.
A youth walks by dragging his feet. He walks up to the coffin and leaves right away.
Then a mother with a small child kisses the coffin and also quickly departs for the other end of the church.
Click-click-click. The boy with cerebral palsy is starting to hide his head from the cameras.
It’s clear there are many non-religious people here who don’t know how to behave in a church.
Streams of people have been flowing into the Novodevichiy Monastery since the morning, bearing flowers.
Today they are laying to rest Elizaveta Glinka.

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Dr. Liza perished. “Saints are all long gone”

It’s not about the fact she saved tens, no, rather hundreds of children and simply people who were homeless and on their own, who were not of use to anyone else. Others can write that without my help. It’s also not about how the “proper” liberals only know how to badmouth others but will never get off their asses to do something other than criticizing and filling their pockets.
And it’s not about how, unlike them, Liza simply did things–and did them quietly in spite of everything. It’s about the fact that people like her are the only goddamned chance this world has not to drown in sewage.
I will say something awful–the number of the needy will not decrease. There were always many of them, and they won’t become fewer in number. War, villainy, flaws–these are the essence of human nature which, as time and history has shown, aren’t going anywhere but simply adopt new forms.
But people like her are few and far in between.

Photo from Elizaveta Glinka’s Facebook page.

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Poklonskaya and Griboyedov

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.

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The Death of Arseniy Pavlov

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.

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What’s all the hubbub?

I start up my computer and there’s nothing on except Eurovision. Ignore, ignore–it never interested me.
But this time it’s off the scale. Out of sheer spite I read nothing, then think–fine, I’ll listen, see what they awarded the prize for.
So I watched. I didn’t know who the winner was or anything at all. Simply watched the whole thing from the start, but already after 30 seconds I felt it was pure kitsch. Pardon me for saying so, but: no voice, no charisma, no nothing. I decided to watched who participated from our side.
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