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"New Mariupol“

"New Mariupol" is the name of an organisation which was officially registered only two weeks ago but has already changed the city’s image.

Life is back to normal in Sloviansk

Sloviansk nowadays is a city of contrasts. Evidence of fighting is still visible there and the withdrawing separatists have left not only a huge network of trenches near Siyemionovka (city’s suburbs), but even toothbrushes in the field washbasins they had organised. 

“Kiev Ruthenia” battalion on front Line

For many weeks now, the 11th “Kiev Ruthenia” Battalion has been surrounded on three sides and shelled by separatists. They can be reached only from the side of Debalcev and under a special permit only.

Maidan without the Maidan. In memoriam

The time has come when one may feel tempted to draw certain conclusions. The so-called “cleaning” of the Maidan, that is the removal of the tents that had stood there since winter, was a complete success. There is virtually nothing remaining in the Ukrainian capital main square to remind one of the “tent town” that used to be there barely a few weeks ago.

Self-Defense in their new base in Kyiv

Sotnyas managed to obtain permission from the municipal authorities to take over the old Pechersk citadel. The idea was supported in the first place by historians, who had for a long time stood in stern defense of this monument of architecture from subsequent attempts to have it demolished.

Is it patriotism yet?

In Kyiv he understood – all that was left for him was Ukraine. Ukraine told him clearly what to do. Ukraine was sunflower fields and no stupid questions asked. A dead friend’s memento knife.

Maidan’s last days

The last phase of so-called Maidan “cleansing” that is to say the removal of the last tents is just about to finish. 

Repression:

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A Russian flag flies over the town hall in Slavyansk

April 14, 2014. Slavyansk in the Donetsk Oblast, eastern Ukraine.

Streets leading to the city centre are criss-crossed with barricades, Russian flags tucked into them. At 4 o’clock, a rally begins in the central square, in front of the City Council building. The flag of the Russian Federation is hoisted on the flagpole next to the flag of the Donetsk Oblast. A crowd of residents chants: ROSSIJA! ROSSIJA!

Two loudspeakers mounted on the roof of a car amplify the speaker’s voice. He speaks about the creation of the National Guard of the Republic of Donetsk.

The building is guarded by men in paramilitary uniforms, armed with antique versions of the Kalashnikov. Some of them carry anti-tank projectile launchers on their backs. The wide variety of weapons brandished and the absence of identical uniforms imply that they are not regular army soldiers. They do not want to reveal which army they serve in. Asked where they got their weapons from, one answers “from our grandparents”. Some of the weapons are 1960’s models.

The participants of the rally vote a few times by show of hands. The offers made by the speaker are approved each time by a majority of the participants, at least on the face of it. They adopt an act on the appointment of a temporary Executive Council. They also approve the composition of the Council. Young girls and middle-aged women approach the soldiers standing in front of the building: they all want to have a photograph taken with a soldier.

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Robert Ostrowski