Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 32. Take a check per capita 10/08/2022 Plot Women in the war
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“We pay a high price to live our lives the way we want and be ourselves,” — poetess Elena Zaslavskaya from Lugansk speaks.
Elena Zaslavskaya became the first and almost the only representative of the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR who openly came to Ukraine (Kharkov) and spoke at the debates with her opponents in 2015. Two dozen radicals were waiting for her in the corridor to deal with her after. Most likely, Elena would not have returned to her native Lugansk if the organizers had not taken her out through a secret entrance. On her poems, the Moscow rock group «Zveroboy» wrote several songs: “They are coming, the armored personnel carriers are coming”, “These Russians”, “Noble Don”, which became hits in the Donbass.
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Vladimir Polupanov, aif.ru: – Elena, how did you feel when you learned that Russia recognized the DPR and LPR?
Elena Zaslavskaya: – It was a big holiday. For us, this meant military and other support, and most importantly — hope for integration, inclusion in Russia. We always felt like Russians, belonging to Russian civilization. To be honest, we really hoped for the “Crimean scenario”…
– And to the Crimea?
– Until 2014, there was a creeping, poisonous and slow Ukrainization, which was covered with words about the European future, freedom, etc. In 2014, I defended my master's degree, which I had to write in Ukrainian. I asked: “After all, we have a law on regional languages. Can't I write in Russian? “No, — answered me. — Course papers and a diploma are sent to Kyiv, so you need to write in Ukrainian. I speak Ukrainian fluently, I also have poems “in Move” there is. But the Russian language — my native. And he began to be ousted first from the education sector, then from the entertainment sector (films were dubbed in Ukrainian), then from the service sector. As a result, the law on the language police — patrols went around the cities and fined people who spoke Russian. Thank God, it didn't come to that in Lugansk.
Immediately after the Maidan in Kyiv, we started protest rallies. There were only 3 requirements — amnesty for Berkut employees who defended the incumbent president, Russian language — as the second state (which we were promised first by Kuchma, then by Yanukovych). And federalism. In fact, nothing was done.
And then we were simply destroyed. How many cases were there when DRGs (sabotage and reconnaissance groups. — Ed.) worked in Lugansk — blew up our monuments, staged terrorist attacks. I remember they planted explosives in a bin near the store. First, there was a small explosion, and when people ran to help the injured, they hit harder again so that there were as many victims as possible.
Blood plays — serve
– I read that your 21-year-old son, like most LPR men, is fighting today.
– My son is fighting, although he is studying in the 2nd year as an animator. Even before mobilization, I told him: “Blood plays — go serve. And when on February 19 we passed two laws on general mobilization and evacuation, there was no question at all whether to serve or not. My father — militia of the first wave, awarded with a mass of awards. He has been in the toughest battles — participated in the Debaltsevo operation, fought under the command of Strelkovin Semyonovka near Slavyansk, near Mozgovoy, when they were forced to leave my native Lisichansk.
– Is he alive?
– Yes, my father wanted to fight further. But he was told that he was too old. He was born in 1953
– Son on the front lines?
– On the second line. And what is it? If the first breaks through, then the second becomes advanced. The commander said that his son was baptized by the war, although not only he, but also our other students.
– Is your whole city at war?
– Not many people left, I feel. Mobilization affected everyone. Even the film «Philarmonia PMC» about how the musicians of the Lugansk Philharmonic are fighting. There are, of course, deviators. But no one is judging anyone. You can not fight, but restore cities, bake bread, heal people. War is only for the strong in spirit.
– What was the most difficult thing when your son went to the front?
– When there was no connection. The unknown is the worst. The first news from him was brought to me by the commander, who ended up in a hospital in Lugansk with frostbite. All fellow soldiers of the son wrote news to their relatives in a notebook to the commander. And mothers came to visit him and looked for news from their children in this notebook. I received this message: “I miss you, I’m alive and well, wait with victory” … My son came on leave for a couple of days. But these were such two days that I didn’t even spend half an hour alone with him. FriendsI went with the flow. Someone was sleeping at our house all the time. Then he sent a message: “My family, sorry for leaving a mess. There was little time. I miss you very much. Red Estuary met us with a howl of arrivals. But I'm not afraid. How I got into my native element (emoticon). Everything is fine with us. Settled in a new place. Mom, pass the pen, I'm lost. Wait for my new poems and drawings. Support Aunt Nina, please».
Nina — it's my girlfriend. Her husband died two and a half months ago. Funerals for people from my inner circle come quite often. I find out almost every week that someone has died — if not a relative, then a friend, an acquaintance.
– Opponents of the special operation cite the following arguments: before the start of the DPR and LPR, they were shelled, but there were no such number of victims and destruction. How do you answer them?
– As for all these moans about the fact that “the Russian world brings destruction”, — we have heard it all many times. I don't even see the point in getting into discussions with people who think situationally, not processes. We speak different languages. Yes, there are people who sit somewhere in the basement and think: “Why do I need such a release?” But there were times when they fired at us, and we did not have the right to give an answer. And the losses were great.
Recently I visited Mariupol, Volnovakha, where we performed with the group “St. John's wort” in front of the soldiers of the Vostok battalion, in military field hospitals, in hospitals in front of soldiers, wounded civilians. I saw these ruined cities. You go along Volnovakha — and there is not a single whole house. It all looks terrible. But when you start talking to the fighters who carried out the cleansing, they tell — in every second house they find certificates of the ATO participant.
– Honestly, I don’t understand how you can live in such an environment? What keeps you from going crazy?
– I wrote in the poem «Novorossiya thunderstorms. Novorossiya of dreams”: “The day is considered successful if it has come, and you must squeeze the maximum out of it!” Culture and art save me. In our theaters, girls now play male roles, because men are at war. But the cultural life goes on.
Armored personnel carriers are coming and going
On the Donbass side,
And the heirs of Bandera
Everyone is sitting on the armor.
And they sparkle with helmets,
Faces are hidden by masks,
Swastikas on the chevrons,
They are looking for where the quilted jackets are.
Do not save, do not protect –
They're going, they're going to clean up:
If so, then I'm the first here,
The first Russian communist.
My grandfather didn't lose his temper in forty-first,
And I'm not a pacifist either!
the other side of the sight
Fascism raised its head,
Armored personnel carriers will not pass,
I will give my life for this.
Russian — so it doesn't give up,
I'll put everything on the line
For the sake of peace, for the sake of the sun,
What has gone beyond the waste heap.
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