The victims of hostilities, unfortunately, are not only people who still often have the opportunity to leave, but pets, which, as a rule, are thought of last. Petersburg journalist Dmitry Yezhkov and his friends saved, if not from death, then from starvation, several dozen Donetsk cats and dogs at once, and shared his impressions of what he saw on his blog:
“We paid a short visit to the Donetsk People's Republic. We did not reach Donetsk itself, but we still have some impressions.
We went there for cats. Many left Donetsk - and continue to leave, but the animals are left. There is no one to keep them in Donetsk, and there is nothing to pay for them. We moved to the St. Petersburg shelter for permanent residence, it seems, 65 domestic Donetsk cats and four dogs along the way. They were collected by locals. We just loaded it into the car and moved it. In general, they combined business with pleasure. Useful - a new life for cats, pleasant - to see what and how in the citadel of the Russian world.
You can freely cross the border with the DPR, an internal Russian passport is enough. There are no special queues. Everything looks approximately the same as we have in Torfyanovka or Brusnichnoye.
The presence of close hostilities is, of course, felt. Military planes fly overhead from time to time. Having heard them, the Donetsk people fall silent and see them off with suspicious glances: after all, they have been bombed for eight years, and reflexes, of course, let you know. A lot of army KAMAZ trucks with the letters Z on the hoods. Army equipment - both in columns and in small groups, begins to appear, in fact, even on the Don highway, and as it approaches Rostov, it becomes more and more. And, of course, there are a lot of letters Z - both on T-shirts, and on car windows, and even on ladies' handbags.
Donetsk is shelled almost daily, that's a fact. They shoot randomly, without any specific target. All this falls mainly on residential areas. I asked the locals why Ukraine was shelling Donetsk. They shrug their shoulders phlegmatically, without any emotion: they probably want people to leave.
According to them, Donetsk is already half empty. There are two reasons. First, many have left. Mostly to Russia. The second reason is general mobilization: all men aged 18 to 60 are taken into the army in the DPR. And indeed, with the exception of border guards, I personally did not see a single man under 60 on the territory of the DPR.
Our idea with cats of the male part of the population of the DPR was incomprehensible. “The hospitals are full of the wounded, just full,” they said. - If you want to help, go there, help. And who needs your cats?
Most Donetsk people live with three passports. Ukrainian passports were not handed over - they hid them. Politics is politics, and life is life. They are beaten people and know that this life can turn in any direction. Plus a DNR passport. It has a Donetsk registration. And plus a passport of a citizen of Russia. Not everyone has a Russian passport. It can be obtained only with a DPR passport. And getting a DPR passport, oddly enough, is not very easy, it takes up to six months. So, there are many who continue to live on a Ukrainian passport.
Border guards - both Russian and DPR, as I understand it, take Ukrainian passports calmly. As is often the case in life, the Ukrainian trident pisses out only couch troops, everything is different on earth.
And finally, Russian border guards and customs officers left good impressions, which you will agree is not common. Correct, attentive and very professional. I probably won’t develop this topic in public, just take my word for it. Their professionalism is quite understandable: according to rumors, today the main flow of smuggled weapons to Russia is going through the border with the DPR. Well, people here, a few tens of kilometers from the war, as you understand, meet a variety of people.
In the photo - cages with cats in our minibus.
By the way, if someone needs a good domestic cat (cat) - one, two, three, many - write: we will give the address of the shelter in the Leningrad region, where our cats now live ... "