Andriy Purgin, one of the fathers of the Donetsk revolution (or counterrevolution, if you will), somehow, in a private conversation, admitted that at one of the first rallies he gathered ... homeless people. I spied how it was done at the very beginning on Independence, and decided to use the experience of the enemy. But then it turned out: so many people from Donetsk come to the rally that no extras are needed.
However, in terms of “serious people,” the weekly demonstrations of tens of thousands of people were ridiculous fuss. We watched and smirked: now the greatest bosses will come and bring in violently the first number.
Deputies, the whole Party of Regions - a gift collection of billionaires, millionaires and millionaire candidates, other zealous lawmakers, heads of special services, officials of all levels, mayors and peers, big business, and medium business too, reputable journalists, pr-technologists on call - everyone laughed.
Because: who is screaming there? Dirty hard workers? Tomorrow will go to their mines.
The authorities from Kiev seemed to be sent, but it could not cope with anything.
Unexpected there was a referendum that said: away from Ukraine.
And here the situation seemed irreversible to many “serious people”.
Konstantin Dolgov, now the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPR, says: “Immediately after the referendum, rich people from Donetsk were knocked away — and, by a strange coincidence, of those who worked in the prosecutor’s office, who were in the police, who was the head of the passport office. In short, everything moved out. Including the head of the passport office. They also took away all the seals. ”
Visiting in the midst of the war of the DPR and the LPR, I marveled at the huge number of empty mansions. Most of them are still empty when the cities of Donbass are no longer bombed.
At first, what to hide, some of these mansions were occupied by the militia, but the scale of the expropriations should not be exaggerated. For example, Donetsk was a very rich city - there were built such large mansions that in one could a company of "separat" fit. So all militias together, with all their desire, could fill only five percent of the cottages, and even then only those that were located “within walking distance” from the “front line” (as the front line was).
But then the militia was distributed (and sometimes it can be said - dispersed) to the barracks, and now the palaces stand as architectural monuments.
Streamlined life without seals, lists and other registries was extremely difficult. The managerial apparatus disappeared almost irrevocably. This, I confess, secretly leads to some vague thoughts: maybe, and here all these people who look at us so tenderly with election posters, or care about us in courts, social offices and passport offices - they will leave in difficult times us? Alone!
It would seem that the apparatchiks do not serve Yanukovych or Poroshenko, but people, ordinary people. Or does it really only seem and have to be baptized when such things come to mind?
I secretly guess that the first year was rubbing hands with all this managerial, such an indispensable device: soon, everything will collapse in you, and you will call us, as the Varangians called in their time, because “there is no order”.
There really was a mess.
Dmitry Trapeznikov, the first deputy head of the administration of the head of the DPR, is young, he is not yet forty, a man (he comes from Donetsk, three higher educations, at the time of the Maidan was the head of the Trade House in Kiev, from there, after watching famous events, went home and joined the militia) honestly confessed to me: "History any revolution - is repeated. No wonder that once Bulgakov ridiculed the ball and Schwonder. Of course, and we all had it. Why was the first deputy convocation called “zero” here? I just remember that composition: many had complete insanity. They were not oriented either in politics, or in economics, or in war, or in anything. Someone came for the idea, and someone came to cash in on. People were completely different. ”
You could lower your hands. But there was no time to give up.
Communicating with Trapeznikov (we drove in the direction of Novoazovsk to open a cannery), I was most surprised that he, with the same intonation, talks about things that would seem incompatible: “I was told: take Telmanovo? (This is such a town in the DPR. - ZP) - yes, I say, we will take ... Here we flew into the Ukrainian convoy ... They fired at us from this valley ... - and in a minute: - To Telmanovo we were one of the first to give teachers a salary, one of the first to organize a bank. I came to Donetsk, I say: we are opening a bank. They say: this and that is necessary. I say: I have everything ready. They say to me: “What are you talking about here? People are preparing everything for the month! ”I say that tomorrow evening you can come to take my bank ... True, every day I worked there tirelessly, but we also found furniture, computers, and everything. They found a banker - a woman had previously worked at Raiffeisen, and now she still works. ”
And then: “And here I detained the saboteurs. They were not local, ran, not knowing the road, and ran to a dead end. I already knew that they run to a dead end. I drove up by car, I was in the “citizen”, I went out with a gun ...
And in a minute - again about the farm, with the same deadpan look.
I ask how many important specialists — without whom in the republic, like without hands — have left. And how much they are offended by the new power.
“In many cases, the people who were sitting at the budget trough, and they were torn off,” Trapeznikov calmly replies. - And for them it is very painful. They understand that they will not return here anymore. For example, the heads of BTI, heads of heating networks. There was a sick state, there was a system of kickbacks. The same heat network showed that they are unprofitable. That the population pays a tariff less, than deliver, for gas, means, are necessary from the state grants. Accordingly, earned millions. A part was given to their supervisors. As a rule, they are the people who expected that everything would return. And now they have a terrible situation in their heads: they have to earn it themselves. ”
I chuckle; Trapeznikov is not even smiling - he was not joking, he was telling banal truths.
Fortunately, the main average composition of doctors and public utilities remained in Donetsk: as it turned out, this is not “aristocracy”, and they have nowhere to run.
Konstantin Dolgov said: “Doctors are just handsome. Only a year after the start of the war, they began to receive Republican wages! Before that, they had a huge amount of work - amputations, wounded, and that, and that, and they performed their duty with honor. 21-I hospital is in the October area. There Nadezhda Ivanovna is just a heroic woman! It became the assembly point for all residents of this village. Her hospital in a sense is like Pavlov’s house in Stalingrad. The hospital director escaped, she took the hospital in charge, and she succeeded. Here she is now the chief doctor. There are large houses in the vicinity, where several people remained, and they all fled to the hospital to shelter from shelling. The hospital also flew countless times, but due to the fact that this is a massive building, the walls were weathered. This is a front-line hospital! ”
“And the utilities? - says Dolgov, and his eyes are burning, as if he is talking about the next matchless military antics of Motorola tells. - Public utilities are heroic people! Last summer, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed the communications of the Kalmius reservoir. Heat, steppe, millionth city without water. Two people heroically died in the repair, but gave water to a million city.
I remember 18 of January last year - this was the first and only time when the APU entered the city: the five-story building began, a straight Kiev Avenue. We then sat in the Kalmius brigade. With me lieutenant colonel, my friend - he is the head of the Kuibyshev district. An emcheesnik calls him and reports:
- Ivan Sergeyevich, we will go to Putilovka. There is a challenge.
- What a challenge, there is a battle!
It turns out that some grandmother from the surviving five-story building called and said: “Hloptsi, here the tank is on fire. Pass, extinguish. "
People who have not been paid for half a year already have a simple reaction without false pathos: “Well, how can you not go, is there a challenge? No, you need to go. This is at the level of conditioned reflexes. By and large, frostbitten people, but heroic. But the most interesting thing for me, a phenomenon, is that they do not even consider themselves heroes. Here you talk to him, and he does not even understand what is at stake. Then I say to this public utility: “Do you even realize that you are a hero at all?” And he was even taken aback: “I mean?”
They need to reward. Thirty-nine public utilities in Donetsk died in the performance of their duties. They need to give "heroes of the DNI."
People in Donetsk - the most important stock. Especially those who all these two years, or most of the wartime, survived at home - re-launching all the mechanisms and gears of the stopped state.
Today, both the world and Russian and Ukrainian media are silent about the war - an official truce in the Donbas.
In fact, the war did not stop for a day. Notice, I do not say: either for a week or for a month. Positional battles, sniper duels, mortar shelling of positions, attacks by sabotage groups - all of this goes on a daily basis.
Going to the head of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko at the planning meeting in the mornings, I heard information that does not go to print: today, from that side of the 37 dead, from our 18 ... Today, from that ... from our ...
And so every day.
Donetsk is not even a front-line city, Donetsk is a front-line city.
There is no war only in the sense that artillery and aviation.
But near the city, directly on its outskirts, such a large number of Ukrainian troops and equipment were driven, that here, in large Russia, no human nervous system could stand the knowledge of this.
Imagine for a moment: here you live in your town, you feel anxious about the exchange rate of the ruble or the "twos" of a child at school, and suddenly it turns out that forty thousand troops of a potential enemy, armored vehicles are concentrated on the road; the artillery was taken away - but, if anything, it had enough power to demolish half the city, not moving from its place. And the offensive can begin at any moment.
What are you going to do?
I remember, when the Maidan was, all this Maidan audience scribbled on blogs daily: “They said that Russian will enter Kiev tomorrow Tanks! They reported that Russian special forces entered the city! They reported that Russian troops landed outside the city! And fighting seals in the Dnieper more ... "
The tantrum did not stop for a minute.
And compare with the Pitmen! No fuss, no noise. Stone character.
Still, mining work - it is reflected in the psycho.
This calm - it infects even the sort of people who love to say meaningfully about themselves: "... unlike these, I have something to lose."
Despite the monstrous accumulation of troops, the average business began to return to Donetsk. These people waited a long time: two years - and all these two years thought that Kiev was about to return, and everything would be as it was.
Now they understand: it will not. And if you do not take any place, your place will take another.
Donetsk today - if you look externally - is indistinguishable from any Russian city; except for the better. Signs are on, shops, theaters and cinemas are open; as a rule, excellent roads (only not near the most “advanced”), lanterns shine, a huge number of vehicles, including public ...
I still remember how I traveled in my jeep through a half-empty city on emergency gangs (the militiamen designated their movement so that they would give way), and everyone who needed it knew my car, because there were no other jeeps with Russian numbers in the city or almost was not. Now I am there not noticeable in the general stream, and for driving on emergency gangs, they immediately fined me and did it right; but i'm not nostalgic.
Do you know how Donetsk differs from our Caucasian “unrecognized republics” - Abkhazia, South Ossetia? There are still traces of war there - obvious. In Donetsk, everything is messed up immediately, the next day. If you were not there during the war and come now, you will think: there was nothing there. And there was such that the Lord did not bring.
Today, even people with weapons on the streets no. Where is war, what war?
In a cafe - usually full cafes - wonderful Donetsk girls sit and drink their cappuccino.
Donetsk students have a golden age now. I was at a meeting with students Zakharchenko: he announced that he was waiting — immediately, tomorrow — from each course there were ten great guys, not necessarily excellent students. All will be distributed to the various departments of the administration. Those who are well-behaved, get the post. Jobs missing.
All the next morning the administration accepted students. The good guys look like real Moscow hipsters, their external appearance didn’t say that they live in a state of "either peace, or war."
After students, Zakharchenko received two mayors. Very efficient men, especially the one that now heads Telmanovo.
I ask Zakharchenko: who is it?
He says: a tanker, he took the airport, was awarded the order and a nominal weapon for courage.
I will not hide: I like it all. And this tanker, and how unusually a bureaucratic jacket sits on it, and the clarity with which he sets out everything he needs from the head of the DPR.
I asked Trapeznikov: no one returned from the former leadership?
- We have such a city Zhdanovka, - he answered me, - The one who was the mayor before the war, the mayor even now. His ratings are good, people speak well of him: a decent person. From the former leadership in the government works a man by the name of Alipov. At one time he was Deputy Minister of Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine. A literate worker, and we even asked the MGB to let him through: no bad deeds are listed.
Actually, everything. Two exceptions. The state is built from scratch.
But the "zero call" has already changed to the first. And this call gives the result.
It’s easy to prove: last year taxes in the territory of Donbass, which today controls the DPR, were collected more than the year before last — before the war! - year.
The explanation for this is transparent and simple: all that “serious people”, “experienced managers” and “indispensable apparatchiks” led away along complicated schemes to parallel space went into the pocket of the republic.
And it is still on the condition that part of the production capacity is bombed out, and many economic ties are simply broken.
It's only the beginning.
Thousands of people gather for every Donetsk holiday: when, for example, Motorola, the same commander Arseny Pavlov, passes by his ATV under the flag of the DPR, he waving like a folk hero, and his mothers take pictures of the children with the legendary commander.
This, you understand, is not simulated.
Frankly speaking, we have something to learn from the Pitmen.
In their endurance, in their ability to smile and bear the true hardships, I see a great, almost religious sense of human dignity.
These people are the elite and aristocracy. And the impostors fled.