Journalist Oleksiy Matsuka: “In Donetsk, any passer-by can be shelled by a sniper”

2014 2014-08-13T23:25:45+0300 2014-08-13T23:27:44+0300 en
Ukrainian journalist Oleksiy Matsuka

Ukrainian journalist Oleksiy Matsuka

Hostilities in Donetsk are going on. The night of 12-13 August was quite hard, shells damaged houses, five civilians were wounded in the Petrivsky district.

The gas lines and the electric station were damaged. Local journalist Oleksiy Matsuka spoke about it in an interview to Radio “Liberty”:


"In Donetsk, any passer-by can be shelled by a sniper. As a rule, they don't fire people to kill them, but shoot in the ground near the feet, to exert psychological pressure. There is no stability, there are fewer and fewer people on the streets.


Horlivka is in a similar situation. People say that when they go to work, they move very carefully, along the walls, trying not to go out to open spaces, as snipers of “Donetsk People's Republic” are everywhere.

The city experiences constant shortages of water and light. In this heat, people have to live without refrigerators. In many areas, water appears only at night.


The people who remained in the city, have no money either to get away to a safe place, nor to buy food. The bank system doesn't work, pensions and wages aren't paid.


Some cafes and restaurants provide free lunches, dispense free bread. This is done by activists of the European Maidan, not by representatives of DPR and the “Novorossiya” (“New Russia”) organization.

“Where do residents of Donets and Lugansk usually leave for? For Russia or the Ukraine?


"They mostly flee to other regions of Ukraine. For instance, to Slovyansk, where the situation has become stable, or to the Western Ukraine.”

“Oleksiy, now you are in Slovyansk. What is the situation like there? It isn't as tense as it used to be several months ago, is it?


"The situation in Slovyansk is more or less stable. Many things havve changed in the socio-political life. The monopoly of the Party of Regions has disappeared, giving way to new social organizations, new movements, which are very active, come to all meetings of the City Council, lead the debate and take part in discussions. The process of democratization is felt even in the air.


The city itself has, of course, suffered from the actions of armed groups. In Slovyansk there were several such groups: the group of the former mayor Ponomaryov; the group of Girkin-Strelkov; and the group of Abwehr – another leader of armed terrorists. The city was divided into zones of influence. Accordingly, they fought among themselves, and fought with the Ukrainian army. Suburbs, especially Semenivka, were particularly affected. Now there are restoration works. This all is done under the control of society, territorial communities and local authorities. And, of course, people are trying to do something on their own. Yesterday there came the governor of the Donetsk region Taruta who promised the people that all the costs of recovery and repair of their homes would be compensated from a special fund."


“Now there is an army mobilization in the Ukraine. Do people willingly go to the army? How is their mood?”


"According to my observations (I emphasize that this is just my personal impressions, not based on any sociological research), people go to the army with enthusiasm in all regions except Donetsk and Lugansk, and hope that the Ukraine will win. What concerns citizens of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, they try to get away and live through the war time without active participation the hostilities.”


“Do you have any hopes for a quick normalization of the situation?”


"The situation will certainly normalize, as it is impossible for the armed separatists to hold Donetsk that long. The city is actually in the blockade. This cannot continue for a long time. I hope that the separatists will be forced to leave Donetsk on their own initiative."