July 11, 2014 - Refugees and a Wedding


This is a clip from "The Attempted Siege of Donetsk I"

A CNN report was filmed near the Ukraine-Russia border with the title: "Ukrainians fleeing to Russia for safety."[75] Reporter Phil Black said the following:
The Russian government wanted international journalists to see this. It's usually a highly restricted location - a checkpoint on the Ukrainian border - which guards say has come under repeated attack. They say gunfire and artillery from Ukraine tore up the ground and buildings here in recent days. This section of the border is now closed.
If you cross the border behind me and keep heading down that road you can get to Donetsk and Luhansk, some of the few remaining centres where militants are now holding out against the Ukrainian military. Russian officials say that since that Ukrainian government military operation has started to gain momentum, take back big chunks of territory from the militants, it's had a dramatic effect on the number of Ukrainian refugees crossing the border into Russia.
These are new arrivals - people who have fled their homes in eastern Ukraine. Their lives now packed into whatever bags they can carry. Among them, Elena, her daughter Anya, and their dog. Elena says they fled the fighting, the explosions, planes and tanks, which terrified her daughter... 
Everyone here blames the Ukrainian government. This woman shows us what she says are fragments she collected in her yard from shells fired by the Ukrainian military.
These crying women believe the Ukrainian government has no regard for their lives. "For what. Why are we suffering?" she asks. 
Natalia says, "I probably won't return to Ukraine, because I can't see a future for my children there. They broke our lives."
Officials say almost half a million Ukrainians are now sheltering in Russia. The government here believes much of the international community is neglecting the suffering of these people. But western countries believe it's Russia that could do more to stop the violence these people are trying to escape.
At the main train station in Donetsk, the AFP filmed a report with the title: "Donetsk residents flee to Russia as Ukraine army nears."[76]

"I have regrets," said one woman. "I have lived here for over 40 years and it's very difficult for me to leave the city. But there is no alternative. The only condition for my return is that the Republic of Donetsk becomes part of Novorossia (New Russia)."

"We ask the international community not only to listen to Poroshenko and his officials, but also simple people like us," said another.

There was a wedding elsewhere in the city.[77] The groom, Arsen "Motorola" Pavlov, met the bride, Elena Kolenkina, in her home town of Slavyansk when he was fighting with the DPR there. Soldiers held big bouquets as they waited outside the venue for the couple to arrive. Strelkov and Gubarov were in attendance, along with Ukrainian and Russian press outlets.

Motorola is one of the more well known DPR fighters and Elena released an interesting video in June explaining why she had joined the militia in Slavyansk.[78]


Elsewhere in the Donetsk Oblast, a bridge was rigged with explosives over the Gorlovka-Dzerzhinsk train tracks.[79] This was presumably done to prevent the Ukrainian Army from sending equipment through.


Read the full report

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