Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Life behind the blockade in the Donetsk People’s Republic | openDemocracy

The closure of the border between Ukraine and the Donetsk People’s Republic has divided communities, leaving people short of food and medicines.

In January, after spending months trying to secure Donetsk’s airport, the Ukrainian authorities closed off all roads into the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Now residents of the towns and villages along the front line are totally cut off from one another. You can visit ‘the other side’, but you need a special permit, which takes both time and money to acquire.

Ukrainian law now forbids the entry of any goods into the DPR, but small consignments are getting through, thanks to the unofficial ‘duty’ paid to the Ukrainian troops.

The bureaucratic nightmare

Ukrainians wanting to visit the DPR need to go to the small village of Novosilka, which, in the two months since the beginning of the blockade, has become something of a boomtown. Novosilka is located some distance from all the large towns and cities of the region (90km from Donetsk), and getting a permit takes a whole day. The Ukrainian army checkpoint closes at 6pm, so if you get your pass at 5pm and then have to wait in a queue for half an hour, you risk being turned back and having to find somewhere in the village to spend the night.

There are two queues outside the permit office at Novosilka’s police station. The short one is for journalists (our group still had to wait four hours for our permits to be processed), and the longer one is for ordinary members of the public, who have to wait even longer. Most of the people in this queue live in separatist-held areas, and cross the border to collect their Ukrainian pensions and benefits or hole up with relatives when fighting breaks out. And even if they manage to get their permits on the day they arrive, they might still have an unpleasant surprise at the Ukrainian checkpoint.

I certainly did – the troops, invoking some emergency situation, turned our car back, saying that they were letting no one through that day. We were forced to make a detour to another border crossing, got stuck in a long tailback, and were the last people to get through that day. The people behind us had to find beds in Novosilka or sleep in their cars.

... and how to avoid it

Bureaucracy traditionally generates corruption. The local people resort to various means to speed up the permit process, as do the truckers trying to transport food and medicines into the DPR. People told us in confidence that a bribe of 1,000 Hryvnia (£29) would get you your permit immediately. Getting back is also a problem – you have to exit from the DPR at the same checkpoint as where you entered.

Complete story at - Life behind the blockade in the Donetsk People’s Republic | openDemocracy

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments subject to moderation.

Recommended Reading via Amazon

If you're seeking more information about how the world really works, and not how the media would want you to believe it works, these books are a good start. These are all highly recommended.

If you don't see pictures above, you likely have an adblocker running.  If so, here are the links.

1. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
3. Manufacturing Consent - Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky
4. Gladio - NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe - Richard Cottrell
5. Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
6. Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives - Stephen Cohen
7. The Divide - American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap - Matt Taibbi

How this works.  Follow one of the links.  Should you decide to buy that item, or any item, I get a small percentage, which helps to maintain this site.  Your cost is the same, whether you buy from my link or not.  But if the item remains in the cart too long, I don't get a thing.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...