From May 2010, Andrey worked in Ras Lanuf on the construction of a railway and was recently evacuated from there by the ferry "St. Stephen".
The story of perepitii life in revolutionary Libya and how it looks from there. And it looks a little different ......
WITH MY OWN EYES
This is impossible in Libya. Libyans are not Egyptians, not Tunisians. Libyans are completely different. That tells us Yousef, the translator. We are Russians, we are building a railway in Libya. We believe Yusef.
Then Benghazi begins. There are no Russians from our company. There is Hamdi, a passport control officer at the airport. I call him - how are you? Normally, noisy at night, shot. What is the opposition - the youth is buzzing, they want money. No, as in Egypt will not. This is impossible in Libya.
Al-Jazeera reports are always combat reports. There, the cities pass under the control of the opposition or fall under the onslaught of the mercenaries of Gaddafi, there is a general battle for the airport in Tripoli. I called ours in Tripoli - yes, at night they shot, grenades exploded. But no one is storming the city. Happy all over Tripoli - demonstrations in support of Gaddafi.
We decide to send women to Tripoli. In which case, from there you can fly. Our camp is near the town of Ras Lanuf, an oil refinery and a port. From here to Tripoli - more than 700 km. With women goes the head of security and translators. Total 25 people on 4 machines.
Before Tripoli did not get - stopped in Homs. Roads are blocked, do not let anyone. Let's go back, stopped in the vicinity of Sirte. They live in construction trailers on one of our construction sites. Waiting for the evacuation by plane. In Sirte, calmly, Gaddafi’s homeland is here.
Al-Jazeera again - the opposition captured Aguilla, Adjdabiya, Ben Jawad. I call familiar Libyans. Everywhere the same scenario - at night in the city center, young people gather and go to smash the police station. But the police have already been warned - and the law enforcement officers, together with the city administration, have already disappeared in an unknown direction. The next day, people wake up - but there is no power. Formed self-defense units - with knives and sticks. Gaddafi and the opposition have nothing to do with this - they fear marauders.
The representative of the authorities in our camp is Abdel Karim, the project manager of the Sirt-Benghazi railway. Our police are the Libyan company Diplomatic Service, 40 people with batons and stun guns. They come to us in the evening and warn: in Ras Lanuf, unrest will begin at night, and the crowd will come to plunder our camp. The guards are asking to let them go home - they are from Tripoli, from the west, and Ras Lanuf is the east, here are ignorant people, drug addicts, they will kill us. The guards are shaking
arms. We say - nothing terrible, the youth is buzzing, as it will not be in Egypt - in Libya this is impossible. The guard calms down. The next morning, wake up screaming - security escaped. Abdel Karim also escaped with her. Then we find out how it was. On the eve of Ras Lanuf brought a consignment of drugs - hashish and pills. Distributed for free. At night, a crowd gathered and went to smash the police. There was a shooting. Ukrainians living in Ras Lanuf have seen pools of blood. Someone called our guards - they reacted with lightning speed. We plunged into cars and drove away in Tripoli. Together with Abdel Karim.
The Benghazian newspaper Korina publishes a list of those killed in the riots. For now their 30. Al-Jariza scores in the hundreds and talks about armed gangs plundering everything and everyone. "Korina" writes that they are robbing only where the owners have gone from.
Our old camp - a few kilometers from the main one - was looted the very next night, after we had gathered everyone in the main camp. Broke down the door, carried TVs.
We must somehow guard the main camp. We make a duty schedule. The main thing - the gate. Libyans are starting to come to the camp, with whom we have subcontracts or services. Require money. Under the contract of payment must be later. They say - no, then you do not pay, pay now or give back cars and excavators. We do not give. Are angry. Then everyone starts to go, who knows that there can be money in the Russian camp, and certainly there is a technique - cars, bulldozers, excavators. Someone manages to stop in front of the gate, others enter the territory of the camp. Coming are divided into three groups. The first are those who have contracts in their hands and they are afraid that we will leave without paying. Others count on arrogance - they come without documents, but claim that the company owes them tens of thousands. But the most dangerous - the third. They come in a group of good cars and call themselves "influential people of Ras Lanuf." You understand, they say, that this is our land, and all your equipment is our equipment. Give it to us, and we will protect you for this, we have automatic machines. All of them are united by one thing - all speeches end with the phrase - “I am ready to take away all your Toyota and Mitsubishi from you.” Libyan Fetish - car.
In the information war included Libyan television. The sleepy TV channel “Jamahiriya” suddenly explodes with the dynamics - no one talks about individual unrest - the leaders scare the civil war, call for thought again, religious leaders speak, the performance of Gadhafi’s son and Gaddafi’s father is announced. Religious leaders appear. We led an erroneous youth policy, they admit. We are guilty for allowing this. Safe al-Islam Gaddafi also admits everything - and that Benghazi got out of control, and that the government made mistakes. He turns to the Libyans: “Those who push you to rebellion live in the west, and their children in the west, and you live here. If a civil war begins, there will be no oil - neither in Tripoli, nor in Benghazi. ” Then comes the colonel Gaddafi. For civil war ready. Will fight to the last person. Our translator Mansour says - he’s in vain, he only makes people angry. Al-Jazeera: The military is moving to the side of the rebels. "Jamahiriya" sends a press conference to the generals - they swear allegiance to Gaddafi.
In the evening, the message on the radio from the protection of the gate - drove up several cars with armed men. All machines, on one jeep - a machine gun. One car drove into the camp. They introduced themselves - this is the military from a neighboring military unit. Intelligence unit. Submitted by Tripoli. We ask to take the camp under protection - they refuse - they have an order not to enter settlements and foreign companies. But they say - nothing to worry about. They patrol the area, will from time to time drive past the camp.
Libyan drivers came - employees of our company. Ready to stay in the camp guard the gate. Weapons No, but it is not necessary - the drivers are forty people, each local will certainly be a relative of one of them, you can agree. Pay later, leave cars as a security - anyway, someone must guard them after your departure. We think. We agree. We write receipts. I, Muhammad Ali, take the car to save and undertake to return at the first request of the Russian company. We give the car and keys only in the port, on the day of the evacuation. At night, the Russians and the Libyans are on duty at the gate.
Foreigners leave Libya. Or looking for salvation in the Russian camp. We were 120. Now there are more than a thousand - Ukrainians, Turks, Serbs, Filipinos, Austrians ... As the legend is told news about the evacuation by Americans of their citizens from Benghazi: a warship swam, several military helicopters landed in the city, special forces came out, took their own and flew away. There were seven Americans in Benghazi.
Gaddafi on Libyan TV promises: all contracts with foreign companies remain in force. Al-Jazeera reports that the Minister of Libyan Railways has been killed.
The company "Sahl Ijfara" is a few dozen very thin and short Marrokans, Algerians, Bangladeshis, Sudanese. They prepare food in our dining room, do the dishes, wash their clothes, and do the cleaning. They did not run away. They served a hundred people, now serve a thousand. They do not complain. They just ask to take with them, at least to where, even to Russia, if only from Libya. Muhammad, the storekeeper: “The Libyans didn’t like us before, but now the police do not have what to do? I came to the city for cigarettes, they kicked me out. ”
We cannot take them with us - Europe will not accept Africans. The UN is busy with resolutions. Our guest workers will work without complaining until the day of evacuation. Only on the last day they will say - you are very offended. We did not abandon you in difficult times. And you?
Libyans also come to the camp together with foreigners to beat their debts. It doesn't matter who owes them — they demand money from the Russians — you are in charge here, and you pay. No one has money. We understand, Libyans agree, are ready to enter your position and take a debt with an excavator. We do not give. Are angry. Scandal.
Most unlucky Turkish company. Several dozen Libyans with knives descended on the camp next to Aguilla. Turks say there were guns. They took away cars, computers. Some even took panties and socks. But people are not touched. Familiar Libyan reassures - for us Libyans, to kill a man is a sin from sin. If there is no police, they can rob, rob, but for the lives of people can not be afraid. In addition, rob only in their area. In a stranger do not agree. Turks quarreled with the local population, nobody defended them. Russian others, so you do not touch.
The Turks are in our camp now. When they hear Libyan speech, their faces are distorted by hatred. None of them will return to Libya.
Al-Jazeera: most cities are captured by the opposition, the Gaddafi regime is about to fall. The count of victims went to thousands. Aviation Gaddafi bombing peaceful demonstrators in cities. The former Minister of Justice forms an interim government in Benghazi. The response propaganda from the Libyan government - dozens of dead, bombing only arsenals,
so that the weapons were not in the hands of the rebels, schools and institutes started to work again, the mobile operator lists subscribers for 30 dinars, the country returns to peaceful life - Tripoli is shown on TV. Everything is quiet. I call my Libyan friend there - he says, really, everything is calm. He says that to the west of Ras Lanuf you can go anywhere - the roads are open. In Benghazi is not necessary. And Western correspondents are already in Benghazi - they say, on the contrary, that if there is calm, then in Benghazi. And under Tripoli fights.
Our employees were evacuated from Tripoli and Sirte by plane. Permission to depart was given by officials loyal to Gaddafi. We will leave later - on the ferry.
The day before departure we go to Ben Jafad. According to Al-Jazeera, it is in the hands of the rebels. According to our data, the police returned there. Our data turned out to be more accurate. The police are not warriors in appearance - they are not sporty-looking men, one machine gun for three. Judging by their appearance, they are not afraid of anything. They say that if we want to evacuate from Tripoli, we can drive all 1000 people - it's safe on the roads. But we will leave through the port of Ras Lanuf. It becomes clear why the police station is not an obstacle for rebellious youth - a shabby building, practically no furniture, a 90 computer and a few policemen in baggy clothes and indifference on their faces - what can they do in front of hundreds or two of the raging young Libyans who are driving the forces of recent events, which some call revolution and rebellion, others - unrest. These young Libyans are very similar to each other. At best, secondary education, no professional ambitions, the ultimate dream - to work as a driver, security guard or official. No entertainment, no girls - sex only after the wedding, no money for the wedding. The young Libyan in the province (and the province in Libya is everything except Tripoli) does not read anything - neither books, nor newspapers, which, by the way, cannot be bought anywhere in small towns. Even the Internet is not interesting for him - maximum, see pictures or listen to music. If he wants something, he is unlikely to be able to formulate exactly what. Although - here is our driver, Ali. He is 21. “Until 25 I’ll live like this.” How exactly? Well, in the afternoon to work, in the evening to sit with friends. What are we doing? Moonshine drink a little, hashish smoke. We talk. And at 25, everything is getting married, I will have children, I will build a house. ” There are other Libyans. But they do not trash the police stations at night. They go to study abroad.
Departure day Column - 75 cars, about 1000 people. We leave the camp, go to the port. On the road, a military patrol - 4 people, two machine guns. Ask: Where? - to port, to work? Mute scene - we warned the military in the evening and in the morning. But there is no unified command here - the head of one patrol simply forgot to inform the other. We explain - we are evacuated. Minute pause - please drive through. Another 15 minutes, and we are in port.
I called my friend Assad, in Zawiyu - a suburb of Tripoli. In the morning, Al-Jazeera reported that the city had been captured by the rebels. Assad: “At night, riots broke out in the center of the city, the police and the police escaped, now there is no government. But we are all the same others - you see, your camp was unarmed for 10 days and no one attacked you. And do not look at Al-Jazeera - from the very beginning, they mounted in a fresh video footage of the riots three years ago. Gaddafi, we, of course, are tired of everything, but the Libyans will not fight each other. Civil War? This is impossible in Libya. ”
Last SMS from the Libyan government: 500 dinars will be paid to each family. Go to your local government and get your money.
The last Libyan. We are already on the ship. Khalid, our subcontractor, stands on the pier and waves his hand. Then suddenly she catches herself and shouts: you have a few cars left in Tripoli. Can I rewrite them in my name?