AMERICAN FREE PRESS’s own Olga Belinskaya, a native of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, conducted a series of raw, unedited interviews with ordinary, peaceful people from Ukraine’s war zone, who told Olga what life was really like in the war-torn country.
Over the course of this year, Olga will be interviewing more residents of her former homeland, giving AFP readers the cold, hard truth, not the sanitized, New World Order-approved pabulum oozing from the mainstream media.
In this the first in the series, Olga spoke with 17-year-old Svetlana on February 3, 2015.
Olga: Tell us a little about yourself.
Svetlana: I’m 17 years old, female. I was in 10th grade when it all started. Now I study remotely for a school, which was hit by a few shells. I lived in the Kuibyshev neighborhood of Donetsk, along the avenue Manezh, our second house was on the next street.
Olga: What’s the state of your water, food, electricity, and gas?
Svetlana: It was OK for us. I rented an apartment in the city center. People in the combat zone are without utilities, near the airport, outskirts.
Olga: Is there somewhere you can go if help is needed?
Svetlana: Yes, you can contact the RSA, regional state administration, led by DNR, the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Olga: How do people live?
Svetlana: Again, looking at where I lived in the Kuibyshev region of Donetsk near the airport, in September a UA [Ukrainain Army] shell hit my parents’ house, the fire left only walls. In October, a shell hit my own house too, causing a fire. The bombs came from the side where Ukrainian troops were.
Olga: How is life without banks?
Svetlana: It is difficult to pay with cash only, because everyone has money in their bank accounts, which do not work. DNR began to pay benefits, but this innovation has not yet happened properly. And also they opened their own bank!
Olga: Why do you and others remain in a war zone?
Svetlana: In fact we left Donetsk, but returned soon after. Our relatives are here, our beloved city is here.
Olga: Where are those who left?
Svetlana: Some refugees went to Russia, while some stayed in the Ukraine.
Olga: How are they doing there?
Svetlana: In Russia, the refugees are treated well, provided housing, work, help in every way. So many of my friends have left. And in Ukraine, they don’t like us.
Olga: Do you have any tips for those who may find themselves in a war zone? How can someone prepare? What is the most important thing?
Svetlana: First you need to collect all your documents! All of them! Store them in a safe place or keep them with you! Gather a bag of your jewelry, clothes and small appliances. If there is shelling in the evening do not turn on lights and do not go near the windows. Do not go outside. Even during the day it can be dangerous. Do not talk on the phone too much, you may inform the enemy this way.
Olga: If readers want to help in any way, what would you suggest?
Svetlana: When it’s over we will need lot of building materials. Now, there are families with many children, mothers with young children, they need baby food and diapers. There are people, who like me, were left without homes, they need clothes. There are orphans in orphanages needing food, clothing and possibly toys. You know, in a war, any little thing can play a big role.
Olga: What is the real tragedy of this situation?
Svetlana: Well, in the militia, the DNR, are the simplest husbands, sons, grandfathers, are fighting in order that future generations were not victims of the Nazis in Ukraine, who came to our land to kill us. A lot of subversive groups in Ukraine are now in Donetsk. Their goal is to kill more civilians. For example Volnovaha, Bosse, Mariupol. Ukraine needs Donbass because we have a lot of coal. We bring a lot of budget to the treasury of Ukraine.
Olga: What do you think about the official story coming from news commentators and politicians?
Svetlana: The policy of Ukraine is of the moral monsters who need money and power! They do not consider the opinions of the people! They do not care how many people die in the Donbass, they need our territory and our resources.
Most of all I am “pleased” with the mayor of Kiev, it seems that he doesn’t understand what he says.
The “Right Sector” is out of control. Now they are on their own, they don’t even listen to the president.
Olga: Have friends and family changed the way treat each other, and if so, how?
Svetlana: Yes, of course the relationship changed. Now we almost do not communicate with people from western Ukraine, because they think that we are traitors. They watch Ukrainian television that is constantly lying. They do not realize what is actually taking place.
We have become stronger. We became friendly. We help each other. We share one problem. All those who remained in the Donbass became like brothers and sisters.
Olga: What about the politics?
Svetlana: These people do not care about civilians. They need money and power.
Olga: What do you think about this war and where it is going?
Svetlana: Certainly. This is a war. This will lead to our victory, the victory of Russia! Victory of Donbass!
Olga: Do Ukrainian soldiers go into the shops with you; do you meet them in the street?
Svetlana: No, if there are soldiers of the Ukrainian army, they try not to be seen by us civilians, because every resident of Donetsk is ready to just break them for what they are doing!
Olga: Who is a threat to civilians besides the Ukrainian army and the militia?
Svetlana: It seems that there is no one.
Olga: And as for crime?
Svetlana: The militia formed a committee on crime; we have DNR police, and there are rules. So there’s no problem here.
Olga: Do you agree with U.S. policy makers who say it is necessary to send “defensive weapons” or “lethal weapons” to help the Ukrainian government defend from attacking Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine?
Svetlana: I believe that for anyone it is no secret that the United States plays a significant role in this war. It manages Ukraine! “Defensive” weapons? We did not attack Ukraine, but she attacked us! America is well aware of what it does. U.S. does not need Ukraine without the Donbass.
Olga: On the Internet, videos and photos show burnt cars, dead bodies, destroyed houses. There are people who think that this is propaganda or too depressing, so there’s no need to watch. Are these videos real? Should foreigners watch?
Svetlana: Yes, this video is true! I myself saw a lot of dead bodies, severed hands and feet. This is not propaganda! Everybody understands that. We simply want everyone to see what is going on here what the Nazi Ukraine is doing to us.
I was glad to help you.
Olga Belinskaya is a native of Ukraine and is AFP’s former bookstore manager. She is currently a peace and monetary reform activist now based in Virginia.