‘The War of Volunteers’: Belsat TV film about conflict in Donbas now in English


Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine has been going on for 2 years. The front line has become a secret, non-existent border. It has divided a seemingly single nation into the opponents of the “Russian World”.

Just after the signing of the second peace agreement in Minsk a Belsat TV film crew spent several days in Donetsk, a city occupied by separatists, where they witnessed tragic events. The crew also visited Mariupol, a city controlled by Kyiv, whose residents are sitting on a powder keg.

Tens of thousands of people on both sides of the front line are the victims of the Russian ‘party of war’ led by Vladimir Putin. This conflict is another stage of the Ukrainian ‘Revolution of Dignity’. The blood of Ukrainians is the price our southern neighbor is paying for the right to be a nation.

“We arrived in Donetsk soon after the meeting of the Normandy Four. We were given a lift by a local resident who used to have a chain of stores there, but when the war, she fled to Mariupol, because the majority of businessmen who did not support the separatists, landed in basement where they were told “Give us your money and Jeep, and we’ll leave you alone!” Yury Wysocki, an author of the report, says.

“Ukrainians warned us against going to Donetsk saying is dangerous since there were no laws, but many ‘orks’, i.e. armed people who could capture or simply kill us. We did not encounter ‘orks’, perhaps, we were lucky. But we saw how a few locals live near Donetsk Airport. Sometimes we failed to come across a living soul for several kilometers – it was a dead city that looked terrible and apocalyptic. The most striking moment of this trip is a talk to DPR soldiers in the military hospital. When I asked one of the wounded, why he went to war, I heard the most stupid answer, which one could ever think of – ‘because here the Russians [are fighting], while those on the other side are Banderovites.” It seemed to me that he went to war for food or money, not for his belief. For many of them war is a way to provide for their families. They have nothing to lose. It is an army of brainwashed paupers which is probably fed by Russia, the army which Ukraine failed to maintain. And there are also people who simply enjoy unjustified risk,” Wysocki stresses.


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