It’s snowing in Donetsk now almost every day. And it’s bloody cold outside. But what creeps up to the people of this city is not so much the cold. It is this one certain feeling that grabs them more and more these days. It is fear. The Donbass is facing a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. The madness never ends and the next round has begun.
There are people, like the father of a 17-year-old who has survived the bombardment of the school sports field, who they almost despair of the situation. A widower with 5 children and a job as a taxi driver who’s future is of a single contrast – black. There are the inhabitants of Makeevka, Gorlovka, Donetsk and many other places, standing in front of the ruins of their homes and in front of their dead. The continued systematic destruction of infrastructure and housing and living areas of the civilian population and even the daily death have become a cruel normality in the Donbass. There are ordinary people who are forced for months, always finding new ways to survive. And they find them. „Yes, we might starve, but we will not surrender one inch.“
No money, no life
As if all this were not enough, Kiev tightens the stranglehold. The premeditated collapse of the banking and monetary system in the Donbass by the Ukrainian side since 11/28/2014 puts the population in the disputed territories now to another threat. Additionally to the not paid for months pensions and wages now is that the people themselves can no longer access the money that they may have had as savings in bank accounts. It is simply not currently possible to get money. It is another act of ignoring the agreement in Geneva in April about initiating a dialogue between Kiev and the Southeast. It is the conscious „making“ of a humanitarian catastrophe. The war is more and more waged not only against the people’s militia, but also against the simple and peaceful population – against older people and children.
Electricity, water and heat as a weapon
Days without water or heat in the apartments in Donetsk are part of everyday life. The cat-and-mouse game is going on and on. The Ukrainian army bombed civilian targets in addition to also target water and wastewater plants and supply lines and heat and power plants to mutate the already tough winter for an additional killer. Repair teams of the DNR and LNR try always – partially risked their lives even under continuous attack – to repair the damage as quickly as possible. Kiev’s energy ministry has now intensified the pace and ordered to stop work of its 252 state-owned enterprises and institutions in the area of combat operations in the Donbass region from 28 November. This was announced by the Ministry on Thursday on its website. But not enough: The managers were instructed to forward proposals for evacuation of their holdings, including employees, assets and documents „to get out of the zone of the special operation into areas that are under control of the Kiev authorities“.
Hospitals are operated volunteer
In fact, there should not be any medical care of the sick and injured in the Donbass – because there are no paid salaries for medical staff and no medicine can be purchased. And on the one hand there are insufficient resources of medicine in Donbass – only the now permanent Russian convoys bringing urgently needed medicine – on the other hand existing medications can not be bought due to lack of money. Nonetheless, there IS medical help and the hospitals are working at the limit. This is thanks to solely the will of the doctors and nurses who go to work every day. Doing what they can to help, even without the prospect of payment. Just do not let their people down. It is the strength of their hearts and loyalty to each other, that let them do all that.
That goods and food from other regions of Ukraine still were delivered in the Donbass, in Ukraine’s leaders opinion should belong now to the past. There is increasing evidence to a total blockade of all entry and exit roads to and from the Donbass towards western and central Ukraine. Kiev tightens the stranglehold and separates the Donbass thus in effect itself. The fact that the cities will still continously bombed, but obviously the separation is operated by their own hand from the rest of Ukraine with all means, may seem surprising at first glance. But it’s not about the people, it is about the country. The land would be reluctant to give up for Kiev. The Donbass must remain part of Ukraine, they think in Kiev – but most of all empty. Ethnically cleansed.
But this bill will not work. It will not work, because people living here who say:
„Yes, we will starve. Yes, we will freeze. And yes, we are going to die – but we will not surrender one inch.“ And those who say that do not wear uniforms and weapons. It’s the simple people of the Donbass. And they are not to be underestimated in their will to survive.