“LNR” admits to threat of rebellion due to high unemployment in occupied Luhansk

Idle factory in occupied Alchevsk

Idle factory in occupied Alchevsk  

Russia, Ukraine, War in the Donbas

Article by: Andriy Dikhtyarenko

“The factories have stopped functioning, all the equipment has been stolen and exported, corruption and theft are flourishing. The people are desperate and ready to protest in the streets.” This is a direct quote from an open statement by “LNR” authorities on the difficult situation in the city of Alchevsk. The illegal “LNR” authorities now admit that there is a serious problem due to high unemployment in the occupied territory. However, are Luhansk residents ready to organize rallies and protests after being bullied and brainwashed for three years?

Occupied Alchevsk used to be the industrial centre of Luhansk Oblast, but is now almost totally abandoned by industries. The Metallurgical Plant and the Alchevsk Coke and Chemical Plant have been nationalized by the terrorists. Factories no longer release smoke into the air, and lazy cattle graze on their territories.


 “There aren’t any specialists left. They just sit around without a salary, and are called to work maybe two days a week. They work about eight days a month, and that’s all the money they’ll get. There are no more salaries, advance payments or bonuses. Even such meager salaries are often delayed.” says Ruslan, a resident of Alchevsk.

The catastrophic situation in Alchevsk has forced the “LNR council of ministers” to publish a panicked “open appeal”: the closed businesses are being looted and desperate people are ready to hit the streets in protest. For the first time in four years, the terrorist “authorities” have admitted that rallies and strikes in this occupied region are possible.


However, Valentyn Torba, a journalist from Luhansk, doesn’t believe such protests will happen in Alchevsk.

“They’ll probably give the people a small bag of small rations to shut them up. I want to underline my statement, because they treat our people like slaves.  So, will they allow them to protest, stage a “maidan”, so to speak? No, definitely not!”

Alchevsk’s unemployed supported by pensioners…

But, perhaps the important enterprises only have temporary problems? Former Alchevsk human rights activist Yuriy Hukov is monitoring the situation. He believes that the plants have stopped functioning for some time now.

“The general director, who worked at the plant these ten to twelve past years, packed his suitcase and left. Now, there’s a temporary administration. But, it’s impossible to deliver raw materials from Ukraine for the plant to operate successfully…. And it doesn’t make sense economically or financially to import them from Russia.”

As strange as it may seem, pensioners are often the only breadwinners for the unemployed in the occupied territory. They usually manage to receive two pensions at once – a Ukrainian one and some kind of assistance from the “LNR”.

Iryna Fedorivna, resident of Alchevsk

Iryna Fedorivna, resident of Alchevsk

“Somehow or other, my husband, the grandfather of the family, still gets his pension and … no, sorry, we get two, in fact, so we’re able to help out!” says local resident Inna Fedorivna.

“My grandson and his wife work at the factory. But, I’ve heard that there will be no work after the New Year. He worked in the railway construction workshop. He recently went somewhere in Rostov to make a few more rubles. They’ve got two kids, so they have to try something. We’re getting on, we’re pensioners, but we still help out.”

Situation in occupied Donetsk Oblast

Neighbouring occupied Donetsk Oblast seems to be in another, more positive situation. Oleksandr Zakharchenko, the self-proclaimed “DNR leader” recently inaugurated the Yuzivsky Metallurgical Plant. However, no promises have been made with regard to the export of plant production.

Oleksadr Zakharchenko, self-proclaimed "DNR leader"

Oleksadr Zakharchenko, self-proclaimed “DNR leader”

“First of all, we ensure that our “republic” gets all the metal it needs. If we have a surplus, we’ll be ready to sell it.” announced Zakharchenko.

But, this surprise inauguration can probably be explained by Zakharchenko’s desire to calm the Kremlin, says the head of the Donetsk military-civilian administration, Pavlo Zhebrivsky.

Pavlo Zhebrivsky, head of the military-civilian administration of Donetsk

Pavlo Zhebrivsky, head of the military-civilian administration of Donetsk

 “According to my calculations, Russia spends about three billion dollars to support the “DNR” and “LNR”… and that’s not counting war supplies. It’s perfectly clear that it’s getting more and more difficult for Russia to allocate this money from the federal budget. So, now they’re trying to somehow launch an industrial plant.”  notes Zhebrivsky.

Zakharchenko has even announced the launch of another major enterprise.

“I think that in the near future, we’ll be ready to announce the launch of yet another enterprise, the biggest and most powerful in our area. Well, we’ll just continue working and inaugurating other projects!” announced Zakharchenko.

Will the Stirol Chemical Plant start functioning in occupied Horlivka?

The Stirol Chemical Plant is the most powerful industrial factory in the occupied territory. Donbas.Realii journalists recently visited the city, but saw no smoke coming from the factory chimneys… like in Alchevsk. They talked to a Horlivka local.

– What enterprises are still operating in Horlivka?

– Well, there’s the dairy and bread production factory. As for the rest… nothing’s functioning.

– What about Stirol?

– No, I don’t think so…. Nope. Maybe just one or two workshops, that’s about it.

Idle Stirol Plant near Horlivka

Idle Stirol Plant near Horlivka

Pavlo Zhebrivsky is convinced that it’s highly unlikely that “DNR authorities” will be able to launch Stirol.

“Russia produces quite a lot of fertilizers, and basically competes with Ukrainian producers. So, they really don’t need Stirol!”

In the end, Horlivka residents don’t expect any miracles from the “DNR”.

– So, do you know where all the workers from Stirol have gone?

– We’ve heard rumours that some have gone to work in the same kind of companies in Togliatti (Samara Oblast, Russian Federation), others have changed their place of work.

– Can you find a job in the city?

– It’s difficult, very difficult. Especially for men.

Unemployment or another alternative offered by the occupation “authorities”

Today, total unemployment is the main problem in all the occupied territories. Advertisements and posters in the streets urge former steelmakers and miners to leave their homes and earn their money in Russia.

Poster advertising work in Russia

Poster advertising work in Russia

“There’s no work! People can’t pay for their utilities. They’re forced to leave…. and search for work somewhere in other cities.” complains Ruslan, a resident of Alchevsk.

So, the “LNR” and “DNR” have nothing to fear from their dissatisfied citizens; there probably won’t be any hunger riots as it seems that soon there will be no one left to organize rallies and protests in the streets. The streets will be empty…

“People who had the will to protest have left… Why should they spend the rest of their lives in a dark basement?” concludes journalist Valentyn Torba.

Meanwhile, occupation “authorities now offer their unemployed citizens an alternative way to make a living – they loudly encourage them to enlist in their illegal army…

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Source: radio Liberty

Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , , ,

  • focusser

    What can you say, soon as the Russia touches anything, this is what you get. Donbas kept saying it was they who were keeping Ukraine going with industry and food. That myth has soon been dispelled.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The reality was quite different. Before 2014, according to Vladislav Innozemtsev of the Moscow Institute for Post-Industrial Studies, the Donbas was only kept afloat thanks to huge subsidies supplied by Kyiv. Donetsk oblast alone got about 31% of all subsidies Kyiv paid to the country’s oblasts. Gas that Kyiv bought for $380 was “sold” to Donbas industry for $220, clearly a state of affairs that could not continue. Unemployment was high in the Donbas, between 30 and 50%. Poltava oblast made the largest net contribution to the state budget, followed by Lviv oblast.
      Donbas industry was hopelessly outdated, so much so that British industry looked high-tech in comparison.

      • veth

        Washington bans U.S. citizens from participating in Russian energy projects 18:30, 01 November 2017 10 0 The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday, October 31, prohibited the provision, exportation, or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of goods, services (except for financial services), or technology in support of exploration or production for deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that could produce oil in Russia or its maritime area claimed by Russia, Deutsche Welle reports.

        Read more on UNIAN: https://economics.unian.info/2220136-washington-bans-us-citizens-from-participating-in-russian-energy-projects.html

      • Screwdriver

        “Donbas was only kept afloat thanks to huge subsidies supplied by Kyiv.”
        Great news! Kiev must be very happy since all the financial burden is on Russia now

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          It is indeed- Moscow has to supply billions to keep the occupied territories barely afloat, with nothing to show for the expenditure. The occupied territories are bleeding the Dwarfstanian Treasury empty, and will continue to do so when Moscow finally withdraws. Kyiv will send Moscow a HUGE bill for all the devastation your fascist pedophile demented dwarf Duce-ski’s aggression has caused. That means even more cuts to the Dwarfstanian budgets for health care, education and infrastructure- not that the dwarf cares about the effect these cuts have on the lives of the ordinary Dwarfstanians. And don’t count on that bill leaving much change out of $100 billion.

          The Reserve Fund is already empty, and by the end of 2018 the National Welfare Fund will be running on fumes. Then what- no more pensions? That will go down really well with the elderly in Moscow, St Petersburg, Ryazan and all the other cities, towns and villages in Dwarfstan- NOT!

          • Screwdriver

            So see, Donbass takover was a good thing, otherwise you would not enjoy so many bad news for Russia and Dagestan, right ? :-)

          • Brent

            As long as you don’t mind seeing any of your Russo Nazzi family left behind starving in Donbass…

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            The temporary takeover by the dwarf’s army and mercenaries was indeed a good thing in the longer term. First, the hopelessly obsolete Donbas industries, most of which have been destroyed by Moscow’s aggression, will be rebuilt to modern standards at Moscow’s expense- reparations and all that. And second, many of the traitors have already left Ukrainian soil and can now be found in Moscow and other Dwarfstanian cities. As most of them are no longer Ukrainian citizens they will not be allowed to return to the Donbas when the occupation ends- they are undesirable aliens. The traitors that remain in the so-called LNR and DNR will leave when Moscow pulls out its occupiers, so Kyiv will be rid of these 5th columnists as well. Those that are stupid enough to stay will face long terms in the nick and will then be expelled, thus ridding the territory of unwanted and unreliable people.

          • Screwdriver

            I am glad you not providing fake links anymore, just your usual Lord of The Rings rave, lesson learned ?
            And this last rave of yours reminded me about your beloved Dagestan, where many years ago, KAVKAZ CENTER reported that Basaev`s operation “Imam Gazi Muhhamed” is “TEMPORALY suspended”, meanwhile the city of Mahachkala renamed to “Shamilkala”. I am still waiting for Basaev to resume ” “Imam Gazi Muhhamed”.
            By the way , may be you should rename some of the Donbass towns to “Banderopil” or “Shukhevichi” – to make it feel like you own them ?

        • Brent

          and Russian ex pats like you….

      • zorbatheturk

        These subsidies are what made Akhmetov a billionaire.

  • Eolone

    But kleptocracy is still working.

  • Fortranz

    “- Meanwhile, occupation “authorities now offer their unemployed citizens an alternative way to make a living – they loudly encourage them to enlist in their illegal army -”

    Interesting you can fight and possibly get killed to protect the government that can’t give you work and a home land at peace. I’m sure this is very appealing to the people of LNR and DNR which would explain why the are leaving to other places where they can live in peace and have work to provide for their families.

    • veth

      After the war Donbass will be the most pro-Ukrainian region in Ukraine.

      • Screwdriver

        After the war Donbass will be the most pro-Ukrainian region in Ukraine
        And the LORD will utterly destroy The tongue of the Sea of Egypt; And He will wave His hand over the River With His scorching wind; And He will strike it into seven streams And make men walk over dry-shod.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          If the Lord has any sense of justice, He will utterly destroy Muscovy, old eunuch.

          • Screwdriver

            You took the bite! :-)
            I knew you would bite on words like “Lord” “dwarf” or “hobbit”. :-)

          • Brent

            maybe you meant “bait”????

            You really should improve your “Anglush”…..or you’re going start telling people you’re a “turtle” cleaner…..

        • Brent

          No, I don’t think YOUR LORD Putin has that much power…..look how small “Novorossiya” turned out to be…..


  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Hmmm…….. “Advertisements and posters in the streets urge former steelmakers and
    miners to leave their homes and earn their money in Dwarfstan.”
    Oh, that makes perfect sense, .. what with unemployment in Dwarfstan rising, wages being months in arrears and paid late or not at all, not to mention that the dwarf has been closing mines in Dwarfstan and its industry is approaching collapse, I’m sure that unemployed workers from the so-called DNR and LNR will be most welcome in Dwarfstan…… NOT!
    So it looks like “volunteering” for the “armies” of the so-called DNR and LNR is the only alternative left to Zakharchenko’s and Plotnitsy’s unemployed, so that they can get their ar$e$ shot off for a fistful of rubbles.

    • Screwdriver

      Dagestan was never big on coal mines, mostly oil .

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        When are you going to do something about your dyslexia, Screwie?

      • Brent

        I see you’re still confused about the difference between the fictional empire you admire called “Dwarfistan” and the real Russian Republic of “Dagestan”…..you certainly will never have to worry about writing a Noble prize winning speech “Screwball”…. you must be from “Dumbassistan”…..


        • zorbatheturk

          LOL. Good one.

    • Brent

      Yes, those Donbass laborers will now be earning their wages in “rubbles”….currently worth 1.7 U.S. PENNIES. And they get the added bonus of indulging in ratburgers and palm oil cheese…

      The hryvnia is worth twice as much to the dollar…..

  • Brent

    Welcome to “The Russian MIR”….