Detour in donbass

Detour in Donbass

A house in Slovjansk. Photo: Jens Malling

A report from the East Ukrainian conflict area

Fruhe took the ride between Slovjansk and Mariupol less than five hours. But due to the war in Eastern Ukraine, the minibus now has to make a rough arch to avoid the city-controlled city of Donetsk, so the journey takes almost a whole day. For passengers, the division of their country has become everyday life.

The wind blows the dust under the high protective roof. A speaker voice concedes departures to different destinations in Donbass. A jumble of bags and bags surrounds the travelers on the banks. In regularly evaluated coughing huspted minibuses their way through the bitter-cold morning and arrive at the bus station Slovjansk. Sweta Nikolajevja warms with a cup of tea on one of the platforms. "I just hope that I can do it home today – if everything goes smoothly, I probably arrive at 8pm", she says.

Sweta lives in makejewka. On the direct main sense, the city is not much more than 120 kilometers away from Slowjansk. Nevertheless, she ames to be traveling for nine hours – in the best case. Slowjansk and Makejewka are located on different sides of the front line, which separate the Ukrainian government forces and the Prorussian separatists. The 42-year woman does not feel well at the time-consuming control points on the ‘border’. "There are soldiers and weapons. It seems to be dangerous. Sometimes I wait four hours, sometimes ten hours. It is uncomfortable for usual people", Says Sweta, who traveled here to the Ukrainian-controlled side to visit their relatives.

She takes a sip of tea and pays over life in the field of separatists:

For simple people, there is not so much that has changed. We no longer pay with the Ukrainian hrywnja, but with the Russian ruble. The politicians are the same, so the difference in this area is not so rough. With us in Makejewka it has become quieter for some time. Last year, I was often shot – I mean, it is still very much shot, but it does not happen so close to it. It is further away, direction Gorlowka. With us the strugs have been a bit decreased. Life in Makejewka is more or less the same as here.

"Mariupol", Tones the metallic female voice from the speaker now.

An old woman rises from the bench next to Sweta. With the help of a driving away, Lidija Cherkasowa presents its packages and bags in the trunk of the vehicle, which goes towards the rough industrial city at the Asovian Sea. It makes it comfortable on one of the blue plushing seats. The strong sun penetrates only moo through the curtains and hull the half-cooked cabin into a soft light. The engine starts and a strange journey begins. It is strongly influenced by the Auzuerhonten conditions that apply here in the War-roodled East Ukraine.

Fruhe took the ride between Slovjansk and Mariupol less than five hours. But due to the war, the minibus must now make a rough arch to avoid the city-controlled city of Donetsk. This means that the journey takes almost a whole day. Most importantly, it is to avoid the suburb Marinka west of Donetsk, where heavy fights romp. The driver oscillates the minibus on the main Sea H20 and moves towards Kramatorsk – a city which was similar to Slovjansk in the spring of 2014 in the spring of 2014.

"Not so comfortable"

Already on the other side of Kramatorsks we meet the first checkpoint. The driver zigzackkack between Tarn-colored vehicles, concrete blocks and sand lacquestions before he must completely decelerate. Heavy-armed soldiers look carefully into the minibus. All a variety of passengers have to leave the vehicle and are guided for a complex checking of the travel documents in a container. The driver scolds because of the mince soldiers and the lost time. Finally, the lengthy process comes to an end, and he forces the vehicle to accelerate again. The speed boots and rattles through the bus. If the driver does not succeed in avoiding a pothole in the strain, the stobs contributed to the symphony.

"There are many checkpoints along the route, but it happens to me as if they have become a bit less. Last year, you had to show the documents stooth. Often the soldiers have weave the luggage", Tempts the voice Lidija Cherkasovas through the Larm. The 63-year-old pensioner is on the way from their hometown of Isjum to Mariupol to visit their daughter and granddaughter. She shrugs the armpits that the ride lasts long than ush

What can one say? It’s not so comfortable. I’m always driven by train. That was gunstiger and more comfortable, but the train traffic is shut down because of the war.

At the beginning of the struggle, it was not without nervousness that they are on board the Marchrutka – How Ukrainians and Russians call this type of means of transport – rose:

The first few times I traveled to my daughter, I felt a bit shaken. On television, I often see how they push and what happens when mines explode. But I do not think I have a choice. So I drive off and hope for the best.

So Lidija, who stayed in Slovjansk when the city was under fire – and they are sent:

I was with my sister and my nephew. Actually, I do not want to remember this time. It is terrifying and makes me sad that something can happen in our country.

To avoid Donetsk, the Masterschrutka turns off the main sense and goes on very narrow dirt roads and strays on. The minibus does not preclude any other traffic over long routes. The engine noise and the hard suspension vibrate in a monotonous rhythm. It has a soothing effect – and soon Slept Lidija on the double seat. Donetsk 58, Donetsk 43, Donetsk 47 – on the stainless steels in the semicircle around the city, the distance remains more or less constant. The bus Schepperert out into the open landscape, over Hugel and by Walder. In several places, mountains of slag – a waste product of the mining industry – their own strange hangell landscape.

Detour in Donbass

Detour in Donbass

Anton Anisow. Photo: Jens Malling

The low-level sun lights to you, and the factories rise from the horizon like Dustere Giants. Thick smoke clouds stimulate golden and pink from the chimneys. The sealed Donbass is known for its coalemins and his heavy industry, and often the small mining tades have grown together. The Marschrutka is on the way through this scenery of rusty structures and run-down material from the Soviet era. The Donbass was the heavy steel heart of the Soviet Union, but this region was only able to adapt to the completely different conditions of capitalism. After the independence of Ukraine in 1991, the time of strikes and deadly unpleasons was surprised in the mines.

Guardian trench and wait

A Tarn Uniform and a dark beard wearing at the bus stop in the city Kostjantynivka a young man. He takes a window seat and sits long in thought deepened. Anton Anisow comes directly from the front. He just got a vacation and wants to visit his mother in Mariupol. The last time he drove by bus, is several months ago, during his last vacation, the 29-year-old soldier is paid. After lived in a natural highway of a protective tomb and has been out of privacy, he has a simple wish:

I’m looking forward to real food.

How much the war splits Ukraine, Anton Spurt not only at the front, but also at its own circle of acquaintances:

Before the war I lived in Donetsk. My friends from there shared themselves in two groups. Those who have supported separatism have remained. The others, like me, have long been gone. Due to the political events, I do not think of the first group of my friends.

"Pass, now comes again a checkpoint", Interrupt Anton yourself. The checkpoint marks the beginning of a long and strongly attached portion of the landscape. Over several kilometers, protective and armored trenches beside the strain. In a roundabout, Behelfsmabige Schlagbabe lock the departure to Marinka, so that civilians can not run between the conflict parties. Militars wear woolenants, Kalashnikovs have their shoulders and shone on the hoeing. Several warehouses in camouflage salvifies regularly as part of the defense plant.

The Ukrainian government faith seems determined not to assign no more land to the separatists and their Russian composite. The visibility is fearing and the dimming sets on the other side of the system. Fog floats over fields and between bald bush. Because of the many curves and the detours on the route, the traveler loses the orientation. For a few hours, the Marschrutka moves through the evening before the first lights of the suburbs of Mariupol seem to show.

"Finally again in civilization", says Anton as the minibus on the broad brochures and under the yellowish strain lighting.

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