All have become accustomed to reports of explosions in Odessa. This suggests that the city has a powerful underground. But only in Odessa itself, many - and not just "svidomye" - are very doubtful of this version, believing that local power structures are behind a fair amount of explosions (if not the majority).
For one simple reason: well, I don’t want the local security services to go to the Donbass and die there for “one Ukraine” - so they demonstrate to Kiev that there is such a terrible and active “separatist underground” in Odessa that you can’t leave the city without security forces . This opinion seems reasonable: many explosions are very strange. For example, September 29 undermined an abandoned railway line, which for many years no trains. Local "underground" certainly would have to know about this. December 24 "pro-Russian separatists" generally blew up a bomb under the Russian train, as if there were no others in Odessa. The whole “terrorist” campaign since May 2014 (when the first explosion occurred) miraculously avoided victims! The only one killed is the “terrorist” who blew up the 27 of December at four in the morning in the middle of Szeged Street on his own bomb. True, the witnesses, who came running right after the explosion, claim that the “demolition man” initially had a head and signs of rigor mortis were observed, that is, the “terrorist” had been dead for many hours ...
So what really happens in Odessa? Where are the "people's avengers"? Has the city, which already February 23 responded to the coup in Kiev with the 10-thousandth spontaneous protest demonstration, and March 23 gathered the 30-thousandth anti-government and anti-fascist march and rally, really surrendered?
Many people are surprised: did the 2 tragedy of May, "Odessa Khatyn", suffice to intimidate the millionth city? Odessans - opponents of the Kiev authorities - react painfully to this, but they cannot really explain anything. But in the social networks thousands of users wrote that "Odessa merged", etc. in the same vein. Network "strategists" claim that a millionaire city cannot be so scared. Why not? Maybe even as, because Odessa, in fact, is far from Donbass.
Firstly, even though a huge number of Jews left the city, Odessa still considers itself “very Jewish”, and, I believe, it was the Burnt Placement (Shoah, the Holocaust) that made an especially traumatic and paralyzing impression on Odessans. Secondly, residents of Odessa are inherently exalted (and ostentatious) patriotism. They are persistently trying to prove to everyone that Odessa is a unique, wonderful, outstanding (including, in its spirit) city, the birthplace of a huge number of great writers, musicians, artists, Beneya Krikov and anecdotes. “A pearl by the sea”, “a city of chestnuts and kupletistov”, “and Moldavanka, and Peresyp”, “it will still be close in Odessa”, “the city in the blossoming acacias” ...
Alas, all this is in the past.
Odessa has ceased to be a “cultural capital” and a unique city. No “Humorina” will help here any more, especially since this “Humorina” looks like depressingly provincial, like the rest of Odessa.
Over 23 of the “Square”, the city turned into a provincial regional center, abandoned, degrading, but trying to pretend to be something else. Ardent patriots brought the situation to the point that the city began to look obscenely neglected: pavements broken into rubbish, a huge number of houses that had not been repaired for decades and slowly collapsed.
The dustiness of the city is amazing. The fact that Odessa is dusty and there are problems with water in it is still known from Pushkin. Soviet power - we give it its due! - the streets are asphalted, the city is heavily planted with greenery, it has solved the water problem. But Odessans (especially young), it seems, do not notice that the city is dusty. And of all those with whom I spoke, only one grandfather recalled Odessa, dusty, a native of Odessa, born 1928. He said that the problem was solved in 1960 and for the next years, 25 was more or less normal.
Today there is no money in the city budget. These are the consequences of the economic disaster of Ukraine in 1990-x, from which the industry suffered the most, including, of course, the Donbass. But there were so many enterprises that no matter how many mines and factories went bankrupt and closed, there was still a lot left. And Odessa has always been a commercial, port and resort city, and the degradation of industry has led to cultural degradation. Universities shifted to the issue of "managers." People who received a good technical degree (or even two), retrained in the owners of all cafes, for which this education is clearly redundant.
In addition to cafes, Odessa amazes with an abundance of pharmacies, banks, nail salons and small ones, speaking Moscow language, real estate offices (in Odessa, these offices are proudly called "real estate agencies"). In these offices, it is customary to hang ads right in the storefront (or on a special stand nearby). And all the windows filled with ads "selling an apartment." I have never seen the word "buy." Which also testifies to the decline of the city: the people from Odessa scatter. My landlady told me: from all her “parallels” in school (three graduating classes) in Odessa there were four people left! The rest went their way around the world - from Kharkov, Kiev and Moscow to New York, Jerusalem and Singapore.
It seems that a typical Odessa citizen, no matter how hard he beat his chest and shouted about his love for the city, on everything that brings no income, he doesn't care. This is where you can clearly see the difference between Odessa and Donbass.
Donetsk agglomeration arose in the same anhydrous steppe, and even aggravated by smoking sulfur and other "useful" chemical waste heaps. Without the Seversky Donets-Donbass channel it would be impossible to live.
Planting and landscaping the land began only with 1926. Terrikon was methodically planted with forest, and the new ones were filled with environmental requirements. City squares, parks and other green spaces, even in 1990, were maintained in very good condition. The same Akhmetov allocated money for landscaping. And in July, and in August last year in the Donbass with some kind of challenge - already under shelling and bombing - the housing and utilities community workers worked. In contrast to Odessa citizens, the Donetsians were proud of their parks and public gardens and did not consider the work in them shameful, even if it did not bring profits.
Another sign of decline and impoverishment of the city is flea markets. In Odessa, at least there are three of them - at the Northern market, at the Southern and at the Starokonny. At Starokonnogo - the biggest.
Unhappy kind of grandmothers and grandfathers, junk-looking alcoholics (in Odessa, their names are “rag-pickers”) are trying to sell things that no one really needs, and who in their right mind nobody buys.
Only a complete lack of money can make people stand for long hours (sometimes in the heat, sometimes in the rain and snow) and try to sell fragments of life forever for a penny. The most unpleasant: many of Odessa residents do not understand that this grand flea market is evidence of how many citizens live in poverty and misery; these Odessa market managers are proud of: they say, look what she is, how much everything is there! People with such a “mentality”, I suspect, were just happy about the “kebab from Colorado” ...
In Donetsk, also a million-plus city, before the current civil war, as in Odessa, there were three flea markets: at the Shakhtar Sports Palace, at the Privokzalny market and at the radio market. But even all three, taken together, they were not the size of a flea market at Starokonnoy. And most importantly, they were not even flea markets, but “flea markets” typical for Europe: they sold mostly what is called antiques and vintage. Rather, they were “clubs of interests,” where before each seller crowded with their own buddy buyers: the second-hand booksellers had their own, the philatelists had their own, the numismatists had their own, and the vinyl connoisseurs had theirs. And this is not because Donetsk was richer than Odessa. On the contrary, the economic catastrophe of the 1990's was “cooler” here, and the 90s were not over. In 2000, at Akhmetov's enterprises alone, over 35 thousand jobs were reduced. It is a different, “soviet” mentality: they traded in Donetsk, but they were not proud of it as in Odessa, and flea markets were not so much a desperate way to survive as the rush during the Nazi occupation, as a spontaneous tool of psychotherapy ...
Another evidence of the impoverishment and spiritual decline of Odessa is a huge number of “commissioners” and “second-hand”. There are always people there.
In expensive shops in the city center too, but it is smaller, and it is different. Incidentally, the Odessa “new Ukrainians” are impressive. In Russia, there are no such years for 10 – 15 (except in the outback): either they shot each other, or exchanged words. What characters I watched in Odessa, with some tattoos, with some "golds", with some "gymnasts"! Behave accordingly - demonstrate, as it should be "bulls", contempt for others.
They told me that on the Fountains in front of one small cafe there is a self-made monument to Carlson. Went, found, photographed. Suddenly, a typical "redneck" flew out from somewhere and began to shout with a characteristic zapadensky accent, so that it would be removed, because there was private property. These “those who came in large numbers” are just as important a factor in the cultural degradation of Odessa as de-industrialization with commercialization.
The mass closure of enterprises was one of the reasons for the mass emigration of Odessa Jews and Greeks. For two decades, emigrated inhabitants of Odessa were gradually replaced by immigrants - partly from other cities and villages of the Odessa region, and partly from neighboring Vinnitsa.
The native Odessans do not like these Vinnitsa villagers, they call them rogules (it was in Odessa that I first heard that word) and make fun of their attempts to look like hereditary local people.
This is really funny: visitors are given a lack of taste and lack of culture, ignorance of the city, finally, talk. Indigenous inhabitants of Odessa speak good and correct Russian with pronunciation that is different from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but not South Russian. They “akayut”, not “gnakayut”, they say not “Odesa”, but “Adesa”. When a poster “Vova, Odessa is not your mother, appeared at some meeting of the Odessa Maidan. Get !!! Bekitser home !!! ”, Odessa bloggers burst out mocking comments that no real Odessa will write“ get ”and“ bekitser ”. Indeed, the real Odessa will write "bikitser." The old people, with whom I had a chance to talk, in unison together covered the film “Liquidation” with its pseudo-Odessa language. They said: this is the cartoon language of Odessa Jewish jokes, and not the language of Soviet Odessa.
The deterioration in the quality of the population of the city affected all areas of life and culture in Odessa. Say at the theater. Primitivization of the public made it primitive and debase the repertoire, and at the same time it took away the incentives for a good game. Odessans old-fashioned bragging their 30 museums. But since they themselves were there for the last time on a school excursion, they do not talk about their condition or the number of visitors. For example, I could hardly see anything in the famous Museum of Western and Eastern Art: the vast majority of the halls were being renovated. Which, by the way, stretches from 2006 and is “glorified” by the fact that in the course of it from the museum, the “Kiss of Judas” canvas by Caravaggio was snagged. But in the Literary Museum, it became obvious that there were other problems. Workers clearly let down a “tip” to present Odessa to “the birthplace of the Ukrainian national movement” and gloss over the revolutionary past of the city.
The profound provinciality of today's Odessa is also provided by the microscopic number of galleries and exhibition halls for a million people. But how many people know that in the "gopnicheskogo" Donbass - 50 theaters?
Of which more than half - folk, amateur (here you have the "drunks" and "quilted jackets"!). And about 40 theaters (whether 38, or 42) - mostly also popular - destroyed during the years of "independence". How many people know that theatrical festivals “Stars of the World Ballet”, “Theatrical Donbass” and “The Golden Key” take place regularly in Donetsk? What in the Donbass - 224 Museum? That is, of course, there were so many theaters and museums before the Ukrainian army set out to "Europeanize" Donbass "scoops" ...
Central Donbass is a huge agglomeration, industrial cities, flowing into each other, with a total population of several million people. But the Odessa agglomeration stretches only to the Black Sea, Dachny and Ilyichevsk. The Donbass has always felt that it is a single whole (the Russian part of the Donbass was also included in this whole), a kind of “separate nation”. Odessans are also ready to call themselves “a separate nation”, but only to call it. In the Donbass (in any case, in its industrialized urbanized part) a separate, independent mentality, own culture, traditions and own idea of stories (here they are proud of Artyom, the Krivoy Rog-Donetsk Republic, the Krasnodon youth guard and respect the “harsh men” employed in production). This mentality and these traditions, by the way, have long been in open conflict with total Ukrainization.
In general, the Donbass differs not only from Odessa, but also from the rest of Ukraine, only in that it concentrates almost 75% of the entire Ukrainian working class.
And the Donbass is a unique phenomenon for Europe: it is the only European region where 55% and 45% of the working population are employed in two areas - in industry and in the infrastructure serving the industry. And if in Odessa (or, for example, in Kharkov), many factories are only listed as working, and in fact they exist, handing over cases for warehouses and trade, in Donbass this is 10 – 15% of enterprises. Everything is fair with the rest: either they are ruined and destroyed, or they work.
Odessans, fighting off accusations of cowardice, say that they were intimidated and terrorized by the "pravoseki" and other Kolomoisky mercenaries who were brought to the city of 2 in May and were there before the presidential election. This, of course, is true, but not all: 2 – 4 thousand “Pravosek” could not cope with the millionth city if they did not have support in Odessa itself. And such support of the ultra-right and nationalists was (and is). It is an order of magnitude larger and more powerful than in the Donbas.
First of all, these are officials, politicians and clerks-intellectuals who serve them (not for free!) (Journalists, PR people, teachers, people of “culture” who urgently became “svidomi” in the “Square”). All this well-fed audience - regardless of the formal party affiliation - flourished and bred in the last 23 of the year. Their positions - their feeding trough, and any radical shocks (and what could be more radical than an armed uprising?) Threaten this feeding trough. Odessa television made reports on the debates in the city council, and it was really funny to watch and listen to how individual officials and deputies with completely non-Ukrainian surnames fundamentally acted on the “read move”, with a lot of mistakes and abundant use of Russian words.
Further, the local bourgeoisie - large, medium and small owners, as expressed in Ukraine, "businesses" (in the Russian Ukrainian, the word has a plural). It was these “businessmen” at the beginning of 1990 that competed in public hatred of the “Bolsheviks”, and although no Bolsheviks had existed in nature by that time, 60 had not existed in nature for years, they blamed them for all their troubles and setbacks. In particular, it was their efforts and their tantrums that completely destroyed all revolutionary names from the map of the city. There is only one street. P. Schmidt, and only because before the revolution it was called Prison. Compare with the toponymy of the cities of Donbass. Feel the difference.
Many Soviet monuments fell victims: they were dismantled (like the "pravoseki" now), piled in the Lenin Komsomol park, where they were destroyed.
The most shameful thing is that perhaps the first one toppled the monument to Kotovsky - perhaps the most famous revolutionary of Bessarabia, to whom Odessa is obliged by the fact that at the beginning of 1918 it was not captured by the Romanians.
And it was precisely this man who was repaid by the black ingratitude of “Svidomo” Odessa. (Again, compare with the Donbass!) By the way, the Leninsky Komsomol park, where the monument stood, was also renamed: now it is Savitsky Park named after the pre-revolutionary owner. "Svidomo" did not bother even the fact that this Savitsky-Voevodsky was the leader of the gang, brothel keeper and slave trader.
It was these bourgeois, primarily the second-hand merchants from Privoz, who became the true "flock" of the local branch of the fascist party "Freedom". In December, they even stormed the City Council under the leadership of "Freedom" 2012. It was possible to knock them out of the building only by applying (in the cold) hoses. Just among these traders a lot of Vinnitsa "rogulja".
And also students from local universities. With brains washed from childhood nationalist and anti-communist propaganda, they sincerely believe in the existence of "ancient ukrov", "Tripoli culture - a contemporary of Cro-Magnons", an invention of "proto-craters" of writing, and Zaporozhye Cossacks - a submarine and other similar nonsense. In addition, a significant part of Odessa students are from Western Ukraine. I regularly saw and heard them on Dovzhenko Street, where the university hostel is located, and in the nearby Tavriya shop.
For some reason they spoke to each other in Russian, but with such a zapadensky accent and on such ... How would you say this? Oh, on uncultured topics! A poster hung in one of the windows of the hostel informing that the “correct” student union was located there, and the UPA flag was immediately displayed.
Of course, there are similar students in the Donbass (including from visitors from Western Ukraine). But there, even in universities, the atmosphere was different. When the rectors drove Donetsk and Lugansk students to rallies and marches “For a United Ukraine” under threat, the students did not come in part, and most of them quietly escaped without reaching the marches. In general, in Donetsk, local participants began to beat the participants as quickly as Panikovsky.
But the most important, basic, category of “patriots-coming” is the man in the street. As it turned out, the Odessa man in the street — the man in the street of the gesheftmahersko-resort town differs from the man in the industrial (albeit seriously de-industrialized) Donbass.
The Donbass inhabitant is simpler, more severe, this is the inhabitant of the “proletarian-gopnichesky” region, there is no Odessa beachiness, razinchinnost and talkativeness in it. And if the Odessa man in the street thinks, first of all, about how it would not get worse, Donetsk calmly and fatally (with the gopnik's fatalism, not without that) thinks: why not risk it - it won't be any worse?
This difference is especially clearly visible now, when the Odessa man in the street is pumping himself and others around with what was once called “Austrian conversations.” After the start of Germany’s aggression against Poland and the massive bombardment of Polish cities, such conversations were popular in Austria: “You see, how clever were we that did not resist the Führer? Would resist - Vienna and Salzburg would be bombed, as now Warsaw and Lublin! ”And today the Odessa man in the street (it is easy to track in social networks) calls:“ See what is happening in the Donbass? If we had revolted, it would have been the same with Odessa! ”But who could revolt in Odessa or at least lead the uprising?
There are two options: pro-Russian organizations or left. Pro-Russian were represented by tiny groups, which had no influence, and the local party “Motherland”, which nevertheless had the second largest fraction in the city council (the first from the Party of Regions). But the head of the Motherland, Igor Markov, a member of the Verkhovna Rada, was deprived of his mandate in 2013 and another 2007 was detained for taking part in street riots. After the fall of Yanukovych, he was returned to the mandate and released from prison. However, it seems that at the same time the new government entered into a tacit agreement with him ...
Kulikovo Field gave its pro-Russian leaders who came from nowhere. But all these are people without political experience, without structures, without talents and charisma. The most famous brothers, Anton and Artyom Davidchenko, were arrested one after another, and while they were free, they organized processions, concerts and talkers for many hours on the Kulikovo Field, and, like “Motherland”, did everything to “avoid aggravation”. Apparently, it is not by chance that Anton Davidchenko, found guilty of no less than “encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine”, was sentenced on July 22 to 5 years in prison and ... immediately released from custody. In short, and this is typical of Odessa, these and similar leaders turned out to be weak.
And about the Odessa Left, and you can’t talk at all without tears. Absolutely impotent and non-influential, unlike Donbass, - KPU (gained 3% in the elections to the city council). Microscopic "non-authoritarian left" (Trotskyists and other "Evrolevachki"), trying to cling to any protests and ardently supported the Maidan (like their "senior comrades" in Kiev). The ultimate disgrace is the anarchists united in the Union of Anarchists of Ukraine party led by the “businessman” Vadim Cherny, who became famous for calling incendiary bombs to throw office buildings in the Donbas together with people, etc.
In the Donbas everything was different. Even the parliamentary opportunist KPU here had very strong and radical organizations.
It is not by chance that in the last parliamentary elections, the Luhansk region gave the maximum number of votes for the Communist Party (25,14%), and there the regional Communist Party organization refused to obey the decisions of its Kiev leadership, declared itself independent, separate from the Communist Party of Ukraine “The workers front of the Luhansk region” and joined the armed struggle and state construction LC. Anarchists in the Donbass were weak and almost invisible. And various non-anarchist “non-authoritarian leftists”, of which there were only a handful of units throughout the whole Donbass, wanted to move to Kiev and join the “left-hipster” party there.
I must say that in the current crisis, the population of Ukraine has demonstrated a steady desire to find the culprits of all their troubles and failures somewhere outside in the holy conviction that they themselves are not guilty of anything. Odessans are no exception here, including the “anti-Hunt” ones.
Among them there is a widespread belief that the whole thing is that the Kremlin “threw” them: here the Kremlin “sent Strelkov” to the Donbass, but did not send it to Odessa, which is why it happened. In fact, the armed uprising in the Donbass did not begin with Strelkov. An example of what needs to be done was shown in Lugansk on April 6, when a huge crowd under the leadership of the local "Union of veterans of the Airborne Forces" led by Bolotov captured the building of the SBU weapons. On the same day, the crowd stormed the regional state administration in Donetsk, and part of the militia and the local "Berkut" went over to the side of the rebels.
Further developments are well known and it makes no sense to repeat it. Unlike the Donbass, which is capable of cutting Gordian knots in proletarian style from the shoulder, the trade-brokerage Odessa was always inclined to negotiate. So local Antimaydan preferred to negotiate with the local Maidan, especially since many leaders and activists of the first and second knew each other well personally (often for some previous activity).
They really managed to negotiate for a long time. Before 2 in May, the only serious confrontation with violence between Maidan and Antimaydan occurred on April 10, when maydanovtsy laid siege at the Promenade Hotel at 11 Station Bolshoi Fontan, where Oleg Tsarev (then a presidential candidate) and Artyom Davidchenko met, and Antimaydan, in turn, laid siege to them. Odessa anti-Maidans knew that the Maidan in the city was weak and few, and the local “Right Sector” was funny at all, so they did not prepare for a serious (not to mention armed) struggle. The idea that the right could bring the “fighters” from other cities to Odessa and settle them there, it simply did not occur to them.
Donbass has previously demonstrated that it is not ready for long compromises at its own expense. When his patience ran out, he switched to the language of ultimatums.
Arranged, for example, trips to Kiev. In 1993, this campaign led to the fall of Prime Minister L. Kuchma’s cabinet and early presidential elections (L. Kravchuk was then president). Odessa cannot boast anything of the kind.
The massive closure of mines and factories in the Donbass, plunging the population of monotowns and mono-townships into poverty (poverty, far surpassing everything that happened in Central and Western Ukraine, is recognized even by Donbass suppressors), made many people think about the role of capitalism and Western imperialism. Moreover, in the other, Russian, part of Donbass, mines were closed in the same way, and it was known that this was done according to the IMF plan. Therefore, in the Donbass anti-American and anti-imperialist propaganda met with a bang. It could be colored in different tones, but no one, except for local grant-eaters, expressed any doubt that American and Western imperialism in general really existed. In Odessa, which used to boast of its "anti-Soviet", the majority met with skepticism about Western imperialism and responded with the phrase "America sweeps away traces" belonging to the half-crazy grandmother known to the whole city.
The social bottoms that have risen in the Donbass are the current gyuz and sans-culottes. Gyozy with sankyuloty, by the way, also went into battle not under Marxist slogans. Donbass workers and the unemployed know that they are sans-culottes, and do not hesitate about it (and even are proud of it).
There are sans culottes in Odessa too - but in Odessa they are shy of their sans-cuteness and want to look in the eyes of others not even just bourgeois, but bourgeois successful.
The Donbass was the last great rearguard of the Soviet society and, realizing the Maidan as a threat to the complete liquidation of the entire Soviet, this rearguard decided to give the last battle. At the same time, it was in the Donbas that, along with the preservation of the post-Soviet working class, the classic “Marx” proletariat re-emerged - and this new proletariat was able to give capitalism in Eastern Europe its first battle. Counter!
And Odessa? .. If I were an Odessa and I was asked at a cartoon-like Odessa “Can you say for Ades?”, I would answer: “Hug and cry.”