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Caught between the fronts in Eastern Ukraine

The journey to retirement began for Taissija Janbolenko at four o'clock in the morning. As a retired elementary school teacher stood up in their small town in

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Caught between the fronts in Eastern Ukraine

The journey to retirement began for Taissija Janbolenko at four o'clock in the morning. As a retired elementary school teacher stood up in their small town in the East of Ukraine to take the first shared taxi to the Luhansk region, 40 kilometers away. In Luhansk Janbolenko got on the Bus to drive another 20 kilometers to the Stanizja Luhanska. There is the only Transition from the Pro-Russian rebel-controlled people's Republic of Luhansk (LNR) to the Rest of the Ukraine.

The separatist territories of Luhansk and Donetsk (DNR) have declared 2014 using the Moscow "people's republics", but they are not recognized by any state. The state legally, they still belong to the Ukraine. And that is why Kiev continues to pay pensions. But the pensioners need to go personally in the government area. The money traffic between the Ukraine and the "people's republics" is set. The pension is there at the ATM, as long as the stock lasts.

Empty ATMs

Taissija Janbolenko as one of the First pedestrian bridge over the river Sewerni Donetsk crosses. There she stands in front of an ATM of the state Bank. It is still quite warm, lucky for Janbolenko and about 30 other pensioners, because they have to wait. The ATM is empty. An hour, two, three, she hopes that now, finally, a money messenger comes in and the machine fills up. It is already noon.

Janbolenkos pension is located at 82 francs. She says, if you can't pull out of the ATM, stay here in the village at Babushka Lidija, a lady who is well over 80 years old. Taissija Janbolenko (65) digs your garden, and may, therefore, for the equivalent of a franc for your stay. As seen Janbolenko has luck.

the family Rachok, from Lugansk, it's different. Irina Rachok is with her husband Victor and three-year-old Waleria for a visit to the Authorities in Stanizja Luhanska. But for her 85-year-old grandmother, Vera, you can do nothing. "She's too frail for the strenuous way, and for nine months confined to bed," says Rachok. "She gets in over three years, no pension." Many will tell you that they didn't get their pension months or even years, also because Ukrainian officials acknowledge their documents. Of 1.28 million pensioners were registered to the beginning of the war in 2014 on the territory of the separatists, will receive according to the United Nations, only 562 000 in your pension.


another Problem: documents of the "people's republics" are recognized only recognized in Russia. Therefore, young parents are driving in from Kiev-controlled area, in order to get birth certificates. Students, in turn, want not a value-free examination of the Donetsk University. This includes visiting relatives or shopping trips.

the UN and The human rights organization "right to protection" include each month up to 1.3 million Crossings over the so-called line of Contact. This is the Front line between the Ukrainian nuclear area and the separatist territories of DNR and LNR. The de facto limit is 427 miles long, but civilians can only cross in five Places. Hours long you have to wait. In the Winter, the Wait is even harder.

Fidelity to the Ukraine is for the people of the DNR and LNR easily. Irina and Viktor Rachok escaped 2014, from Lugansk to the government area. But the man lost his Job. "So many of the Luhansk or Donetsk", - says Irina Rachok. "We are set, so that the heads can stand up to Kiev that they are doing something for the refugees – and will be released as soon as the leaders can replace us." 2018, the Ratschoks returned to Luhansk. Since may the Russian authorities on the orders of President Vladimir Putin's illegal passports to residents of the LNR and DNR if they have previously applied for a passport of the "people's republics". "But we do not want to Russia and no Russian passports," says Irina Rachok. "We are Ukrainians."

factories are closed

In Stanizja Luhanska, the Ratschoks want to pick up a new passport for Viktor. However, a border official stamp of a journey of the Kiev-controlled border to Russia to fall in the old passport. The penalty for "illegal entry": 142 francs. The penalty is a bitter blow for the family. As a seller, Victor Rachok earned in Lugansk, some 300 Swiss francs, in the slack months of the half.

He is glad to be working at all. Thousands of companies and shops in the "people's republics" are closed. Since the beginning of the war about 1.5 million inhabitants of the rebel areas have fled. There, the 2.5 million people still live.

The 34-year-old Evgenia Schorowa a few dozen kilometres to the North lives East of Donetsk. Many factories have closed, about 20 of their Famous moved away: in other parts of the Ukraine, to Moscow, to Poland. The Schorowas remain still. Evgenia works in a chemical factory that formerly belonged to the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. The DNR has it expropriated, and now the factory before the Bust, standing Schorowa says. Still, she earns about 300 francs a month. To life, this is not enough, she says, "because many of the prices are with us today on the Moscow level". Schorowa's going into Ukrainian government territory to buy for customer's home, clothes and food. Your days of profit, if all goes well, is the equivalent of 12 francs.

Schorowas father Sergei died two years ago, the daughter Yevgenia has lived since then with the family in the apartment of the father. Officially inherited, she has not the apartment. Because the Ukrainian authorities do not recognize the death certificate of the DNR. Evgenie Schorowa takes care of in addition to her two Jobs to son, and mother. "So far, I never had time for all the authorities."

Schorowas husband lost his Job, his coal-pit of the castle. Now he's going to make computer repairs, and can also bypass the Lock, with which Russia blocked in the DNR and LNR access to the Ukrainian Internet sites and television stations. The Schorowas have a clear opinion to"people's Republic": "We are living under an outlaw regime." Dennis Puschilin, the Moscow as the "President" of the DNR has used, was "nothing more than a criminal," says Schorowa open-hearted, which is why this newspaper has changed the name of the family.

Many, especially older residents, the propaganda the rich Russian TV channel information only, in support of the "people's republics" – and a possible connection to Russia. "I would like to live in Russia – like it used to inthe Soviet Union," says a Pensioner in front of the empty ATMs in Stanizja Luhanska.

charges of "espionage," convicted

Reliable surveys of how many people in the rebel regions, Moscow, and how many people of Kiev, is not there. An indication that the support for Moscow and its puppet regime has narrow limits, is the passport issue: The "people's republics" of type since 2015 their own passports. But since then, only 15 percent of residents have requested a: especially with the Moscow-affiliated regime, employees, soldiers and their families.

the leader of the "people's republics" don't feel safe, also show the processes against alleged spies, who are led: just last month, four residents were sentenced for alleged "espionage", or alleged smuggling of weapons to the Ukraine to be met with long prison.

Created: 06.12.2019, 21:24 PM

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