November 24, 2014

Ukraine on brink of civil war

Apr 16

Main Photo
A combat vehicle with pro-Russian gunman on top drives through Slovyansk Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

About the blogger

Journalist Olga Shestopalova writes about cultural affairs for TV Plus, the Observer-Reporter's partner newspaper in Slaviansk, in eastern Ukraine. She visited the Washington area several years ago as part of our newspapers' exchange program.

Dear friends, sorry for silence. It looks like damnation for Ukraine, but I hope that Evil will come back to the person who sent this boomerang.

You should know the latest news from Eastern Ukraine and Slovyansk in particular. I will try to keep you informed.

There are two wars here in Donbass. The first war is informational; Russians are great specialists in this field. They spread panic in social networks and try to convince Russians that they are the owners of the region. At the same time, Russian authorities continue saying there are no Russian military forces in Donetsk region. The situation is common to Crimea before its “referendum.”

The other war is real war, a war of weapons. We still hope guns will stay silent, but Ukrainian tanks change their owners from Ukrainian to Russian too fast for anyone not to worry.

Most of people in the streets of Kramatorsk, Slavyansk and other towns of the Donetsk region hate the Ukrainian flag and soldiers. They want to have a Donetsk Republic. They are afraid of “Ukrainian fascists” – the beast generated by Russian propaganda.

I would like to share a video with you. You can see how Ukrainian military forces try to break out of the siege of pro-Russian civilians in Kramatorsk, which is about 20 km from Slavyansk. One of the Ukrainian soldiers pulled the pin out of a grenade and showed it to people, threatening them. This action helped Ukrainian soldiers break away from being surrounded. Their tanks moved to Slavyansk. The crowd of pro-Russians sent curses and hooted.

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About 

Journalist Olga Shestopalova writes about cultural affairs for TV Plus, the Observer-Reporter's partner newspaper in Slaviansk, in eastern Ukraine. She visited the Washington area several years ago as part of our newspapers' exchange program. She also works as a fashion model, and splits her time between Slovyansk and Kiev, the Ukrainian capitol. Ismayil Khayredinov was born in Uzbekistan in 1985, and raised in Crimea after his family returned to their ancestral land at the verge of USSR collapse. At the age of 14, he attended a boarding school for gifted children near Bahçesaray, operated by a Turkish company in partnership with Crimea's education ministry. In Ismayil 2001-2002 academic year, he took part in a one year high school exchange sponsored by the US Freedom Support Act, operated by American Councils. In 2004, he took part in the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program, and interned in the office of Hon. Borys Wrzesnewskyj. Ismayil graduated from Taurida National Vernadsky University in Simferopol with a degree in economics. During his student years and early careeer, Ismayil was involved with many international projects with a diverse range of interests, including agriculture, shipbuilding, exports, education and marketing. Notably, Ismayil took part in a Ukraine Media Partnership Program, where he has become friends with the Observer-Reporter staff. For the last 5+ years, Ismayil has been living in Prague, where he first directed an International Youth Leadership Conference, and is currently building his business in web development.