Photo: Suspilne Donbas
The Eney bookstore appeared in Bakhmut about six years ago. It was opened by a former soldier, a volunteer soldier serving in the Donbas Battalion – Volodymyr Deryvedmid. He named the bookstore in honour of his fallen comrade-in-arms, Anton Tsedik.
“This was my front line. When I arrived in Bakhmut, I had great ambitions. I wanted Ukrainian-language books to be available to the people here, novels, poetry and books about Ukraine, including today’s history. I decided that I’d sell the books at a minimal price, just slightly more than the retail price.” says Volodymyr.
Volodymyr says that for many visitors, Eney has become more than a bookstore. It serves as a gathering place for Ukrainians, a cultural venue where visitors can exchange ideas and news, recite Ukrainian poems, and read novels, magazines and booklets.
“My friend Anton, “Eney” as he was known to all, always had a book in his hand, even during the last minutes of his life in the Ilovaisk hellhole. Why? We were told to take our weapons, ammunition, but not to bother about food, because not everyone would return. “Eney” took his weapons, ammunition and a book, ” added Volodymyr.
Currently, prices have been reduced and all the books are on sale. The Eney bookstore will shut down at the end of November. Volodymyr says that the bookstore was not meant to be a profitable business, but a social project. He used most of his pension to pay for the rent, as the bookstore did not bring in much money.
Volodymyr hopes to find a person who could continue this business. Otherwise, the doors of the Eney bookstore will close in one month.
During the Russian invasion and occupation of the Donbas in 2014, Bakhmut was captured by the Pro-Russian militants and declared part of the so called “DNR”. The city was eventually retaken by Ukrainian forces on July 7, 2014.