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Snitches in Donbas

Snitches in Donbas
Article by: Ilya Trebor
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

It is no secret that a significant number of hostage civilians remain in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk. This is evidenced by numerous reports made by law enforcement offices, endless reports on social networks about missing family members and a hefty list of Donetsk citizens who went MIA, particularly on the website of the Donetsk City Council (not to be confused with the website of the Donetsk Oblast Administration the ‘DNR government’ launched).

A civilian may end up in the barracks of the ‘people’s republic’ for violating curfew, moving about the city without a passport or for simply not sitting well with an armed young man. The reasons are countless. However, some are shocking with their cynicism and absurdity, such as the snitch system in the ‘republics.’

Rumors about this blast from the past have been circulating for some time. Some reported witch-hunts back in May, however the first evidence of complains emerged online in the beginning of October – a photo was taken of a ‘document’ accusing one Donetsk citizen of committing “illegal actions that do not correspond to the general line of the policies of the Donetsk People’s Republic.” This was the official motive, and it was written in the complaint that the person had criticized Denis Pushilin and Pavel Gubarev (well-known ‘republic’ officials), as did not support the idea of the ‘DNR.’ In the end it was noted that the person had no right to occupy the honorary place of a ‘republic’ citizen and was subject to isolation. It did not detail whether isolation entailed the Donbas Oblast Administration basement or exile. After this letter, the topic was dropped for a while. However, several days later another similar document emerged in ‘Luhansk People’s Republic.’

This statement turned out to be somewhat more concrete and surrealistic. It was sent to the ‘Ministry of Internal Affairs’ by the ‘LNR Minister of Culture’ Irina Filatovo, who became famous earlier not for her decisions as the ‘Minister’ but thanks to a racy photoset which immediately took over the internet, and the demand do condemn a Ukrainian writer to the highest possible punishment.

“I ask to employ measures to detain and punish according to wartime laws, Krasnovska Olena Volodymyrivka, who lives in Luhansk, Ryleyeva st., 17. I am aware that on the night of October 14, 2014, when the Banderite junta celebrates the Day of the UPA, citizen Krasnovska O.V. visited the city cemetery of Luhansk with the aim to conduct rituals aimed to weaken the statehood of Luhansk People’s Republic, and damage the health of its citizens. In particular, Krasnovska O.V. summoned the spirit of Banderite command Roman Shukhevych. According to her neighbors, she is a supporter of the Kyiv junta and stands against the LNR and Donbas. I ask to investigate Krasnovska’s undermining activities and determine the right form of punishment, to the extent of death by firing squad, according to martial law.”

The fact that some leaders of the ‘republic’ call to execute those who support the ‘Kyiv junta’ is no secret. Just like the fact that some people in the ‘government’ write these complaints. However, this plaint has a line that immediately compares to Stalin’s USSR – “according to the neighbors…” The psychological mechanism which makes people who had lived together for decades, snitch on each other, knowing beforehand what the so-called ‘rebellion’ is capable of, will possibly become a matter of investigation.

Occupation influences people differently. Some understand that hard times have come, which is why they join various volunteer groups or try to independently help those who have to face difficulties alone. But no society is perfect. These people snitch on their neighbors, acquaintances, friends and parents.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
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