Facebook Posting of Ekaterina Sherga, a resident of Moscow, July 3, 2014
(Translated from Russian by William Risch, Georgia College)
I managed to get through to my brother in Sloviansk for the first time in several days. It turns out that he and his family managed to get out of town yesterday. He found a place to stay with his friend in Dnipropetrovsk, a friend he used to serve in the army with in the Far East. My husband and I had told him he could come stay with us in Moscow, but he refused.
What did he tell me? The local population has practically all left. Instead, Sloviansk has become an informal capital for bandits, crooks, adventurers, the socially marginal, and simply psychopaths from all over Russia. “The beasts already back in May stopped and robbed armored bank cars. As a result, there’s no money, and I don’t know what forms of payment residents still left in town use. Maybe people will pull out their gold teeth. The beasts will defend themselves and set up reinforcement positions, and specifically in residential neighborhoods. I saw for myself how they built firing positions and put on top of them three layers of concrete slabs they had stolen from some construction site. I don’t know how hard they (the Ukrainian forces – translator) will have to hit to bust up that defense. Beasts had been shooting from behind a water tower, and they got hit in return by the Ukrainian army; a shell smashed into the water tower. Then a crew from Life News ran up to the scene and started filming a story about the Ukrainian army’s bestial deeds. And most important, I saw a tank with Russian symbols on the street. The damn older brothers have arrived! The beasts take advantage of the fact that under Yanukovych, pilfering and neglect had left our country practically without an army. Right now, we literally have to build it from the ground up.” Then he talked about how he and his family decided to leave the city and how they arranged their departure. “We got out of Sloviansk and drove down the road. Morning, steppe, and complete silence. And suddenly I realized how I’d gotten unaccustomed to all that this whole time. No shots, no explosions. And people seemed so unusual – not one of them had trembling hands.”
(For the record – my brother is a one hundred percent Russian speaker. And it’s exactly because of his interests that Russia is paying an excessive amount of attention to southeastern Ukraine.)