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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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“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. It is plain to see that no one is joking here – before departure, we undergo special training in first aid, in how to behave in case of shelling and in other unexpected situations. Everyone is claiming concertedly that the knowledge will not be of use most probably but without the “course” no one will let us go through the guards.

Because the battalion is in a very advanced position, has strong support and hardly any losses despite its continued presence on the first front line. No one will take us there, yet the looks of the soldiers returning after patrolling gives an insight into of the situation. Most of the volunteers do not return home after the regulatory forty-five days, primarily because they do not want to. Leaving comrades behind with whom they have been fighting arm in arm for a second month, is out of the question. After a dozen or so minutes of a conversation I get to understand how harmonious and hence, effective teams the different detachments are. They only have complaints about the equipment; antiquities of the 1970s which need to be brought back into shape on site.

Paradoxically – I am as close to the front as is possible for a “civilian”. I have not laughed so much for a long time as I’ve been laughing here. Humour is part and parcel of the battalion’s daily existence.