News / Europe

In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stoppedi
X
August 19, 2014 11:45 PM
As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Gabe Joselow

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives.  In the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.

In a leafy neighborhood of Kramatorsk, residents are cleaning up the debris of war.

Tolia, a pensioner, is fixing up his home, damaged as Ukrainian forces battled armed rebels who took over the town in April.

“Everything was destroyed, everything was ruined, these three houses - some of the others," he said.  "And here I know a bus was hit, the driver and passengers were killed.”

The damage tells the story of the fierce shelling and gunfire that rocked Kramatorsk.  People here say they hid in their basements for weeks.

But after government forces retook control in early July, many residents say everyone is being unfairly treated with suspicion.

“We are all being called separatists here," Tolia said.  "I'm 77, and can you imagine I'm a separatist?”

Kramatorsk is an industrial town in largely Russian-speaking Donetsk province.  Factories manufacturing machine parts provided jobs during the era of the Soviet Union.

The separatist insurgency took hold here and in neighboring Luhansk province where many maintain strong allegiances to Russia.

Residents here refused to say what happened to the rebels holding this town when Ukrainian forces reclaimed control.

But red paint recently splashed on a billboard reading "Kramatorsk is Ukraine" shows separatist sympathizers are still in the area.

Tanya, who works for the city as street cleaner, says times were already tough before the conflict, and now are worse.  

Despite the presence of Ukrainian forces, she says the city has not received enough assistance from Kyiv.

“We are afraid of everything. We wake up in the morning and we are afraid of what will happen today," she said. "I went to the market and returned with nothing.  I don't have money.  My children don't have work.  My children don't have a place to live.”

At a military base on Karuchin mountain, a collapsed communications tower shows the damage caused by retreating separatists.

Officers here report some continued pockets of rebel activity in Kramatorsk and in neighboring Slovyansk.

The twin cities were once hotbeds of insurgent activity.  And though Ukraine can claim a military victory here for now, pro-Russian sympathies will be harder to subdue.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid