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Activist: people stood in line for two hours to return to Donetsk

Article by: Radio Liberty
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

Kyiv – The government plans to give state-funded assistance to forced migrants, up to 2400 UAH per family, said Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk. Meanwhile civil activists claim that some people who had left the conflict zone but failed to accommodate themselves at their new locations are going back – and not always to free cities.

Citizen of the locality of Semenivka in Donetsk oblast Halyna Antoshkina recently returned home from Kharkiv oblast, where she fled from the attacks. The village is located near Sloviansk and suffered severe damage during combat. According to the woman, her family’s house was almost completely destroyed, and the summer kitchen chimney was damaged by a mine; it was a miracle t failed to explode.

“I called the city executive council today, they said that a truck full of roofing materials departed for Semenivka. I don’t know how they will distribute it, because we have three two-story houses that were damaged and three buildings near the psychiatric hospital buildings that were also ruined, they also need a roof. I don’t know how they will distribute it, how much will each person get, but a truck is nothing,” says Mrs. Antoshkina.

She lives with her friends in Semenivka and works at the local psychiatric hospital. She says they were given another building instead of the ruined one, and now everyone on staff is working on renovation with their own hands.

About sixty thousand people returned to Donetsk oblast, says member of the Committee of Forced Refugees initiative Hennadiy Kobzar. According to him, after the ceasefire was declared, people started returning, and not always to free cities. In particular, the activists speaks of traffic jams upon entry to Donetsk.

“In the first day of the ceasefire, the people would wait 1,5-2 hours. It is clear that half of them went to get their belongings. However, I said 60 thousand, those are the people who went there to live, at least that was their intention,” Kobzar notes.

Meanwhile the Donetsk oblast state administration reports continued artillery fire at individuals buildings on part of the separatists. In particular, according to them, on Wednesday, there was an explosion five meters away from one of the schools; there had been people inside at the moment, four died.

Besides, as the OSA reported, a ‘DNR’ missile hit a marshrutka. Six people died, one was injured.

Yermolayev: they want to build a military-socialist republic of sorts in Donbas

At the moment, third-wave migration from Donbas is underway, notes director of the Nova Ukrayina Institute for Strategic Studies Andriy Yermolayev. According to him the first wave left during the meetings on cessation of these oblasts from Ukraine, the second left at the beginning of summer, when combat just got started. The third wave began in August, when people started going hungry and losing their homes, the expert says. He predicts, however, a fourth wave – the most difficult one.

“The territory under separatist control will be organized differently, the people will be offered different political practices there,” the expert explains. “The program offered to this region will have nothing to do with the local government elections in December, but with the decisions made in November, which Kyiv is not prepared for. There will be an attempt to create a militarist-socialist republic of sorts. And the people will think whether they want to live in this new, so-called society.”

According to the government, as of today about 350 thousand people have left Donbas for other Ukrainian territories. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk stated the intention to set up government assistance for the next half-year for those who had left the conflict zone in Donbas: 442 UAH per working person, 884 per person unable to work, however, according to him, the total sum per family will not go over 2400 UAH.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
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