Donetsk today: there are only those who can not leave.
They disappear silently.
They disappear silently. Every day you accidentally find out that one of the Donetsk residents now lives in Lvov, someone settled in Kiev, someone right now has overcome all roadblocks and sobs at the border of the Dnipropetrovsk region. These are tears of relief. Fear was left behind. They broke out.
In Donetsk, no one talks about leaving out loud. They talk only about plans and then about the fait accompli. But here so that “I’m leaving the 10th at 5” … There is no such thing. Scary. Little does anyone want to “spend” you.
Donetsk refutes all laws of emptiness and fullness: it is still full of people, but it is also empty. Empty, because your friends, your friends, colleagues have already left him. One can not come to visit any more, others do not come to tea at a neighboring office, there is no third party to meet on the streets, and with the fourth one you will not cross your job. Perhaps someone will be able to meet in other cities, where you will go together as refugees. Perhaps, with many you will return back. But never, never will be, as before – all together and all nearby.
“Let’s meet at seven in our cafe.” “Let’s go for a walk along the boulevard.” “Come to us on Saturday.” “Come visit, we have excellent coffee” … All this now echoes of the past. It will not happen again. Because next to “our cafe” a couple of days ago, one of the representatives of the People’s Democratic Republic was killed, and the rest of the representatives like to eat there, having surrounded the whole district with “guards” with automatic weapons. So it’s unlikely that you’ll ever go there again someday. Boulevard, too, no longer exists – it is too close to the ill-fated Donetsk Regional State Administration, so few people will venture to walk there. And coffee, too, not every time you buy – sometimes you just do not want to leave your house again.
Seven o’clock, Saturday, summer, city center. It’s the same time and the same place when in Donetsk you could not see its main decoration – millions of luxurious, multi-colored roses. They were not visible because the streets were flooded with a motley crowd of people walking, and they were so bright that roses were lost on their background. Now roses are visible everywhere. Red, white, pink, purple … Whole islands of roses, which seem to only grow. Perhaps, the memory of every departed Donetsk resident here sprouts a new rose? That’s why there are so many of them. But there is no one, no one who could admire them. Emptiness.
On the main street there are two or three stray cars that try to get there as soon as possible. Not one passerby. Many offices and shops are closed.
The largest entertainment center in the city for children is empty. A phantom voice from the speakers tells how to use the attractions, but there’s no one to tell. There are no parents with children – no one came. On the rink, which works even in the summer, three randomly looked in there a teenager. There are two companies in cafeterias. One of them can not buy food in any way – everything that’s like on the menu is over. “We are closing on the 9th, the whole complex. Therefore, we do not prepare anything, “the waitress says guiltily.
Donetsk today is not a city for walks. Not for entertainment. Not for shopping. Not for queues for ice cream and coffee. Not for work. Everyone who has had the opportunity to work at home for two weeks now. Collectives suffer a serious outflow of personnel – every second employee tomorrow or the day after tomorrow the train to another city. There are only those who can not leave. And those who do not want, no matter what.
Strangely enough, still there are. They are not happy with the situation in the city, but they want to stay because they love it. He can not be disliked – even such, he is dear to very many. But still many decided: Donetsk can not be saved. Leaving refugees who say goodbye to what they loved, with every bench, every tree, every window that remains in their city, leave too much pain in Donetsk. It is already spreading through the streets, filling semi-empty squares, flooding areas where tents and traces of barricades still remain. The Donchans say they simply will not be able to live in the same streets with those who proudly walked on them with machine guns. This city knew how to forgive, but not now. Too many were hurt for the living, for the most intimate, the most important.
They just had a life here. High school graduation. First love. Wedding. Birth of a child. Happy Days. And all this does not take with them. It will remain in empty streets, on which there will be no more of us. There will be only luxurious, clean roses.
Of course, everyone will be happy in the new place. Happy will be those who remain. Life does not allow to happen to another, happiness always comes. But it will never be the same. The heart of Donetsk was broken up into thousands of fragments that are spread all over Ukraine (and not only). The city will wake up, but whatever it is, each of these fragments will hurt. And there will be a lot of this pain for Donetsk. Too much.
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Donetsk today: there are only those who can not leave.