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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid