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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. 

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Kiev-1 Battalion maintains its positions in Sloviansk

This is one of the first volunteer battalions which was formed back on the Maidan, around the volunteers of the 7th Sotnya. They had just won the battle with Yanukovych’s regime and were ready to go immediately to the Crimea to fight the “green creatures”. Things turned out to be different though, but they went to the front nonetheless and were involved in critical operations near Sloviansk. They were amongst the first troops to enter the city. I met a retired doctor who recollects the arrival of columns of tired, dirty soldiers in the centre, already abandoned by the separatists.

“I was then queuing at one of the few food shops open at that time. I saw them and started to cry. Then, one of the soldiers came up, embraced me and said, ‘It’s over grandpa. All will be fine.’”

Contrary to what the soldiers had hoped, the Kiev-1 volunteer battalion continued to attack with the other troops. They were left in Sloviansk to maintain their position and keep things in order. No one liked that but they understood the reasoning behind the decision – Sloviansk is a major strategic point, and – which is no less important – a symbol of the fights against the separatists, and it is extremely important to keep the city. Especially as support for the Donetsk Republic was relatively high in the city and it is reasonable to take all precautions. The soldiers take their function very seriously – they patrol the city, work with the militsyia (even though it looked more like control over whether the local services,  disgraced with their collaboration with the DNR, are doing their job) and are attempt to promote amongst the residents, a positive image of the Ukrainian army.

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