Life in occupied Donetsk: the latest news and trends

Author : Anatoliy Amelin

Source : 112 Ukraine

Crime rate in remoted areas of Donetsk has increased
16:39, 24 May 2016

Read the original text at Facebook of Anatoliy Amelin.

Non-journalistic news from occupied Donetsk.

1. A lot of people have returned to their homes. They did not find the new places to live, and they were afraid about their apartments.

2. Groceries, a lot of cafes and restaurants continue to open.

3. Any successful business must be negotiated. To run your business successfully, you need to "be friends" with the leadership of "DPR." So they say.

4. The largest mall "DonetskCity" opened with a lot of children's shops.

5. The largest network of gas stations in the region "Parallel" has long ceased to work, some facilities were dismantled by looters, the equipment was removed, apparently, it was transported to the Russian Federation. The rest of them are nationalized and run under the brand "Republican Oil Company." Petrol in Donetsk is cheaper than in Ukraine, but the quality is much worse. It is brought from Russia.

6. The military are not seen; guns in the city are prohibited.

Related: Switzerland sends aid to Ukraine’s war-torn Donbas

7. Donetsk is clean, communal services work, roads are in a good condition.

8. There are many Ukrainian products in large stores. 

9. Officially, there is a blockade of Ukrainian products, the scale of trafficking grows. There are many Belarusian products of a good quality.

10. Donetsk pensioners receive a pension on local cards in rubles and receive money from ATMs of the. 

11. The city has 8-10 ATMs where you can withdraw money.

12. Some of the major companies pay salaries in UAH (Donetsk Metallurgical Plant and Railroad).

13. You can buy tickets on the train in any direction.

Related: Poroshenko: Russian aggression in Donbas claimed lives of over 10 thousand Ukrainians

14. There are many vehicles in the streets, including luxury cars and sports cars, which a year ago were not noticed.

15. There is a growing number of real estate transactions. Prices have fallen compared with pre-war three times. One-bedroom apartment on the outskirts costs $10 thousand.

16. Buyers are afraid to do the transaction in the registry "DPR" and duplicate them in the Ukrainian registry. It takes up to three days without leaving Ukraine. You can do other Ukrainian notary documents, but it is not cheap.

17. Crime rate in remoted areas of Donetsk has increased.

18. There are still many billboards in Donetsk, sometimes you can see ads in the Ukrainian language.

Related: War-torn Donbas faces threat of ecological disaster

19. The news on TV have a pinch of Soviet times, any fails are shown as a success and a great achievement.

20. Many locals expected elections. Ukrainian elections and the return to Ukraine. There are many pro-Ukrainian people in Donetsk.

21. There are also many pro-Russian people, who does not see themselves in Ukraine under any circumstances.

22. People try not to talk about politics, only with relatives or close friends.

23. Many people do not use cell phones to call someone in Ukraine, they use messengers and Internet.

24. You can understand the mood of your interlocutor by how he names Ukraine and Ukrainians.

25. The majority of people in the region want to stop the war under any flag.

26. Russian humanitarian aid has ended few month ago, sometimes people receive the humanitarian aid of Akhmetov.

27. A number of Ukrainian networks remained on the occupied territory; of course, they changed the name.

28. Universities and institutes are working. Last year students were transported to Rostov in order to receive Russian diplomas.

Related: Nuland warns local elections in Donbas need to be held under Minsk deal

29. "Republican Bank" is located in the premises of different Ukrainian banks.

30. Hospitals and ambulance also work. Many doctors, who left earlier, have returned; they were not able to find a job.

31. Russian medications are in the drugstores. The quality is awful, local people ask to transfer Ukrainian medicine.

32. Nightclubs work, despite the curfew.

33. Some shops accept payment by bank card. But this is rare.

34. The region works mainly with ruble, but the hryvnia is very valuable.

35. Car shops mainly sell used cars.

36. "MTS" mobile network works here, "Kyivstar" (the largest Ukrainian mobile operator) has no coverage. The cell phones SIM cards are sold only by the passport.

37. Checkpoints. This is a business. The kilometer queue, waiting lists are bought and sold.

38. Finally. OSCE closely communicates with the local "chiefs", they dine together.

In general, people have adapted to survive in a new environment, they are tired of politics and war. People want peace. And, unfortunately, they are ready to accept any peace format.

Related: Refugees from Donbas who settled in Dnipropetrovsk region to get financial assistance from Germany

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