Olena Bilozerska: At a checkpoint in eastern Ukraine

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2014/08/08 • Analysis & Opinion, War in the Donbas

I’m sitting near the checkpoint; I’ve forgotten how long I’ve been here. We haven’t heard from our boys since yesterday afternoon. I only know that’s it’s hell over there, and it’s impossible to get to them now.

They are over there, and I’m cooling it here (not an adequate word in this terrible heat, but that’s the truth). I don’t know when I’ll see them. This uncertainty is worse than a mortar attack.

There is almost no connection, no coverage here – not just the Internet, but also your regular mobile phone. Not only can they not call us, but I too, sit here without mobile coverage. As soon as a connection appears, I hurry to call or write people… at least let them know that I’m safe.

There are very few refugees and civilians on the roads. Guys who were fortunate enough to get out of the border villages told us that almost all the civilians have left… maybe two or three houses with elderly people left in each village; after all, they have nowhere to go. “Iron pigs” fly overhead; locals call them “new express mail”. The boys tell us that it’s only a few seconds to Russia.

When it gets dark, I see flashes and hear the sound of exploding Grads that are fired from Russian territories. You know what’s interesting? I see them with the naked eye, while people who have satellite dishes, powerful optic systems, etc. don’t see a thing. Is this the way it should be? They’ve invented the fucking “ATO zone”… ATO with Grads.

I was told that some trendy analysts say that everything will be resolved in the next few days… either Putyara openly brings in his troops or accepts the fact that the “separatists” will be wiped off the face of the earth. Would someone please ask those analysts how long I still have to sit at this checkpoint?

Actually, I’ve realized one important thing: what is happening on the front lines and what is happening in government offices, what Poroshenko and Obama declare and what press agencies announce – these are two different worlds that are not at all connected and are independent of each other. The front has long lived a life of its own. Major combat operations are actually run by lieutenants, colonels and commanders that are on the battlefield. Quick raids are organized by group commanders. The generals in Kyiv are cut off from reality; they don’t know what’s happening here. As for the media and news – it’s just one big never-ending lie.

Olena Bilozerska is a Ukrainian journalist.

Source: FB/bilozerska
Translated by Christine Chraibi