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City hipsters repair villages destroyed by Russian occupiers for fun

Oleksandr Khomenko/Hromadske
City hipsters repair villages destroyed by Russian occupiers for fun

“Repair together” is a youth volunteer initiative that on weekends helps residents of Chernihiv Oblast villages rebuild the houses that Russian occupiers destroyed. They plan to build 12 new houses for the villagers by winter, a Hromadske report by Oleksandr Khomsnko tells.

At first, the colorful hair and ample tattoos of the urban creative class got the village residents on their toes, but very soon suspicion have way to hospitality and out came the treats – homegrown tomatoes, varenyky, and moonshine: the kids were accepted as locals. Money for the reconstruction comes from responsible businesses; volunteers come from all walks of life, from the creative manager to videomaker to art director. Some get from the village more than they give:

“The village is an opportunity for me to regain myself,” says volunteer Mila, who spent her entire childhood in the village, but then moved to the city. “After I went on a trip for the first time, I felt much freer. This is the restoration of neural connections that were lost long ago. And also a reminder that you can get pleasure from very simple things.”

They also hold a Sunday rave after finishing up work, and have plans for cultural residences and stimulating local businesses.

All photos by Oleksandr Khomenko/Hromadske

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