Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk. Like twins. Two metropolis, almost a quarter of a century, desperately fighting with each other for the right to become the business capital of all Ukraine. With its ambitions, oligarchs and political criminal groups. And if such a comparison was true in August of 2013, then in the last summer month of 2014, it seems completely unacceptable.
One brother, who decided to go against the will of his father, Kiev, and express his opinion, turned into a disfigured cripple. The second one put on the embroidery and went against his brother, holding dreams about a “separate life” in the most secluded corners of the soul. Having stayed in the Dnipropetrovsk region for a week and a half, I had a rather vivid impression about this region, most accurately conveyed by a phrase from Mikhailov’s screen adaptation of Chekhov’s stories: “Our conscience is European! Education, however, is Asian ... ".
From Odessa to Dnepropetrovsk traveled by bus. At night. Almost all the way, I was accompanied by Ursa Major, which a month ago I so loved looking at the shelter near the Gorlovsky mine from the roof. Lenin. Under Kryvyi Rih the bus drove into a dense fog that stretched to Dnepropetrovsk. The metallurgical smell of Krivoi Rog immediately made me remember about the house. In the morning we got to the city of Petrovsky on the Dnieper. Being here at the concert of the Orgies of the Righteous five or six years ago, I remember Dnepropetrovsk as some kind of architectural association of the “mother of Russian cities”, the “first capital of Ukraine” and the “city of a million roses”. This Dnieper metropolis embodied the whole "street-front" flavor of the Left Bank. And I think that Karl Marx Street is one of the most beautiful centers in South-Eastern Ukraine.
But the spiritual essence of Dnepropetrovsk is reflected most vividly by the Parus Hotel. The monumental and unfinished Soviet megaproject, on the facade of which the Ukrainian coat of arms is proudly painted (over the old advertisement of Privat-Bank). That's the city itself. With all the abundance of modern glass-concrete towers and high-rise residential complexes, Dnipropetrovsk still remains unfinished by the end of an ambitious Soviet project. The Soviet (good and bad) is everywhere here - and under the advertisements of boutiques in the Central Department Store, and in the magnificent bridges near the quay embankment and in the sanctimonious youth, hung with yellow-blue ribbons. This could be Donetsk if it continued to live under the yoke of its oligarchs and the blue and white politicians. Dnepropetrovsk today is a non-coming Donetsk tomorrow. In the bosom of United Ukraine. Prices here are the same as with us six months ago. And people are plagued by domestic and communal problems rather than war. Only three changes testify to it: checkpoints of the National Guard under the entrance to the city; trolley volunteers asking for help for the army in supermarkets; helicopters flying to the airport and ambulance carriages traveling there with flashing lights. And looking at the number of the latter, Dnepropetrovsk dimly realize that the reports of the Ukrainian media about the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the ATO zone are somewhat ... underestimated.
Residents of Dnipropetrovsk do not just love their city, but are also proud of it, as the Donetsk residents in their time were the “mining capital”. In their conversations about their region, the painfully familiar arrogance is felt, they say, they are “not subsidized”, “self-sufficient” and “will protect their region and neighboring ones on occasion”. Everything, as in Donetsk - a year ago. With one difference - different national poles. I ask a friend: "Well, and how do you like the new governor?" “Yes, somehow it is not really felt. We have the world. This is his main achievement, ”he answers to me. And so many - they almost give half the wage to the needs of the army, send “humanitarian aid” to the National Guard and pray for the phrase “just so that we don’t have it”. Yes, as long as Kiev has not touched their “non-subsidized” region and has not encroached on the interests of Dnipropetrovsk itself, this will not happen to them. But when Kiev needs money, it will pump it out of the self-sufficient Dnepropetrovsk, and not Kherson or Rovno, which is not making ends meet. And any attempt to leave money in the region will lead to the “Donbass scenario”. Will proud Dnepropetrovsk be able to swallow the demands of its neighbor on the Dnieper? Will the status of "all defender" help him?
Already, in their yards, Dnipropetrovsk people are pouring out righteous indignation about raising utility tariffs. For example, in the Samara and Industrial districts of Dnepropetrovsk hot water reaches 26 with more than one hryvnia per cubic meter. And this is despite the fact that the Dnieper TPP located there discharges its hot water into a nearby river, which does not freeze even in winter. TPP, by the way, belongs to DTEK Akhmetovskaya company. Yes, and with the mobilization here, everything is not as colorful as the media describe it to us. I personally heard women tell each other on a bench that they secretly come from agendas from their husbands and sons, and then throw them into garbage cans. “Let, won, the male refugees from Donbass go to the front,” they exclaim. Nobody says openly that they don’t want to fight with the Pitmen, but ... But Dnipropetrovsk most fear that their husbands and sons will not return from the Donbass. Already, they, like many residents of the Southeast, who weakly identify themselves with the Ukrainian nation, are weighing the value of the lives of loved ones and the unity of Ukraine. But they do not forget to actively donate products, things and money to the ATO. If only others, but not they fought.
Another confirmation of this thought is my observations on Flag Day and Independence Day, which I spent just in Dnepropetrovsk. Represented 23 August on Naberezhnaya action most reminded me of the Soviet May Day parades. People with flags, children on their shoulders, ribbons (but not red bows, but yellow-blue “pages”) and everyone around are smiling. It would seem okay, but ... But then there is a column with Ukrainian two-sided and black and red flags. Ahead are marginal baleen grandfathers-nationalists and shouting “Ukraine ponad mustache!” (Yes, so heart-rending that the German Deutschland uber alles is heard rather). And behind these (descended on long-suffering Ukraine crazy still in dissident 70-e) all this smiling and cheerful crowd of ordinary people are following their grandfathers - guys in black T-shirts with white tridents and the inscription: "I am the Ukrainians", girls in wreaths, shirts and red beads , as well as managers who wore their weekend embroideries. Crowd with a smile supporting the slogan "Ukraine above all". Above humanity, love and other people's lives. Militant philistinism, unwilling to take real responsibility.
What I saw on the Dnepropetrvoskiy Embankment 23 of August caused me a huge number of questions to the so-called. patriots. Firstly, why aren't these young and patriotic football concessions at the front? Why, when Donbas and Dnipro volunteers die near Ilovaisk, and Semyon Semenchenko from the hospital cries out, “We need those who are ready to die for Ukraine,” are these homeland lovers beautifully stepping along the Dnieper Embankment? Is there a lot of heroism in wearing a yellow-blue ribbon in a safe Dnepropetrovsk ?. Secondly, why do girls dressed in foreign cosmetics wear wreaths in shirts, instead of getting pregnant and giving birth to a dozen children as soon as possible? Children who will work in the future and fight for Ukraine. Every young lady who proudly declares that she is a patriot should be ready to give birth and give birth to Ukrainians. This is precisely its main patriotic function in front of the 40-million country. Despite the scanty state support, the lack of housing and the risk of not making a career. After all ... "Ukraine ponad mustache!".
Thirdly, why was McDonald’s near Lenin Square crowded with people in embroidered clothes and "speed goggles" on Independence Day? Is it, my dear patriots, love of the Fatherland - to finance a foreign catering company? Why are you at the expense of your wallets not going to eat in more expensive, but domestic institutions? Why do not strengthen the domestic trade? Probably for the same reason that Ukrainian flags are being hung out from the balconies, but just lazy just to remove the garbage from this very balcony. This is what I observed very often in Dnepropetrovsk. Flags on the windows and plastic bags and plastic bottles in the thickets of house territories. Back in school, I was sick of this globular Ukrainian pseudo-patriotism, which the youth in Dnepropetrovsk raised on a trend shield today. All these hipster girls with backpacks who consider themselves to be profound intellectuals and at the same time enjoy the low-profile performances of local TIAs who have drunk the repertoire of Pavel Zibrov or Oksana Bilozir mummified back in Soviet times. And in a nightmare I could not imagine that young people would listen with a similar musical product with ecstasy. In Dnepropetrovsk, I saw it.
Why am I so prejudiced against all these "striit hero-Slavs"? From what I saw in Dnepropetrovsk soldiers-conscripts. 17 and 18-year-old boys. The commander brought them to the Varus supermarket - for what purpose, I do not know. Maybe help with shopping. And, maybe, and to take away "help" from the population (among which, by the way, toilet paper is very popular). So, in their eyes, I did not see self-confidence and ardent patriotism. In their eyes there was only doom and humility with fate. So why, tell me, are these guys supposed to die when the “chubaty” national Gopnik walk around the streets, boasting of their involvement in the state with their T-shirts and ribbons? I am sure that without thinking, these liberal patriots will tear a person on the street with the flag of Russia, but they are not going to go to the front. After all, marches at the weekend to the glory of the nation are safer than bullets from counteroffensive quilted jackets of Donbass. Only in a crowd do these patriots feel their power.
What I noticed during the celebration of Independence Day in the million-plus city of Dnepropetrovsk. Young people enjoy not so much from the process of “patriotisation” itself, but rather from belonging to the masses. Mass of like-minded people. For them, the main thing is to be “in the stream”, to wear fashionable wreaths (sometimes even whole funeral beds), shirtless patterns and, pulling their nose, to compete in the patriotism of their attire. As an old and irreconcilable informal, I have never been tempted by the desire to "be like everyone else" and follow the ideas of the majority. I would even say that the desire in people that “everything is like people’s” makes me rather worried than sympathetic. Dnepropetrovsk is striving in every way towards the capital, but all its attempts turn out to be nothing more than a beautiful facade - with several metro stations, the former building of the Ministry of Metallurgical Industry and domestic twin towers.
I would say that Dnipropetrovsk is Babylon (not without reason one of its largest shopping centers on the Left Bank is called that). Only instead of Marduk / Moloch sacrifice to Ukraine here. The city, so passionately wanting to become Zion, eventually turned into the abode of merchants and warriors. Despite the similarities of Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk, the first has always been a city of production workers and administrators, and the second - merchants. Dnepropetrovsk could not bargain for a special status under the old regime, now it is the turn of the war. And the constant build-up of military potential in the Dnipropetrovsk region is a clear confirmation of this. Although, in the river is not so bad. There remained a lot of people who consider us, residents of Donbass, brothers. At the very least, I was pleased with the completely apolitical local informals. I would describe their attitude to the current situation with a quote from the novel “Confrontation” by the famous terrorist Stepis King’s belletrist, where the parent of one of the main characters says: “Do not trust the powerful people of the world, for they themselves and their governments will embarrass you, and so will The end of the century. You have to trust yourself. And let the mighty of this world roll their way along with the people who chose them. In most cases, this road is not too good, but everything is fine: they cost each other. "
Not done in Dnepropetrovsk, and without funny situations. Somehow I needed to get to Lenin Square from the railway station. The easiest way is to take the tram on route No. 1. And so I see him in front. The tram is modern, with a glued banner "Udina Ukraine". I run to him and am about to jump into him, as the doors close in front of me and the “horned” man leaves. Symbolism, however. Yegor Voronov did not have time to climb into the “One Ukraine”. I drove away as follows — a repaired Soviet-Czech tram that no less comfortably drove me to a stop — Lenin Square, where Vladimir Ilyich himself was deluged several months ago without asking the residents of the city about it.
And a few more words in the end. DniproVavilon, of course, shocked me with an abundance of an active minority of Ukrainian patriots. I was shocked by how capricious I began to wear embroidered shirts and plastic wreaths on my head. I was shocked that the young people listening to 60's music shout “Ukraine above all”, and not “Why do we need war - let's make children better”. Shocked that disillusioned with the Maidan, people continue to blindly believe Ukrainian politicians and authorities. But the number of good people in Dnepropetrovsk is still greater than those for whom the state is above all in this life. So ... remember another phrase from the film “Unfinished Piece for a Mechanical Piano”: “Mom, send me to the yellow house! I'm crazy. I still believe in love, honesty and friendship! ”.
Yegor Voronov: Notes of the Donbass Emigrant. Babylon on the Dnieper
Noticed oshЫbku Highlight text and press. Ctrl + Enter