An old man keeps a chronicle of war in Ukraine’s separatist Donbass

Through Alexander Ermochenko

ALEXANDROVKA, Ukraine – From his cramped living room, Alexander Cherkas keeps observe of the battle in jap Ukraine that has been waged around him for the previous seven years and 8 months.

In a small exercise e book, the SEVENTY SEVEN-12 months-old electrician writes out by way of hand a line-by means of-line document of shelling assaults and casualties – which homes have been hit, who used to be killed, who used to be wounded.

“Quicker or later, you may need proof: this is what happened, or didn’t occur, through the conflict. this is why I write it down: it’s historical past. And historical past is honest and trustworthy,” he mentioned, running a finger across a page of entries.

Like many people stuck up within the warfare among Ukrainian govt forces and Russian-backed separatists, Cherkas has ties to each international locations – his mom was Russian and his father Ukrainian. “My soul is each, Ukrainian and Russian,” he said.

He has a Ukrainian passport, but his first language is Russian.

But dwelling on the edge of Donetsk, one among the 2 primary strongholds of the separatist facet, he says his allegiance is firmly with Russia. He will get his news from Russian state TELEVISION on a suite within the corner of the room with a miniature triptych of icons perched on top.

No wonder, then, that he disbelieves the Ukrainian govt’s warning that Russia has greater than NINETY,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and should be poised for a full-scale invasion – one thing the Kremlin denies.

Russia “has never supposed and is not going (to invade), because she has enough on her plate already,” he stated. “Russia doesn’t need to tackle this burden of Ukraine too – why would it not?”

Russia rejects Ukrainian and U.S. accusations that it is also making ready an invasion of Ukraine as early as subsequent month by way of tens of heaps of Russian troops poised close by of the border.

Cherkas’ dialog veers among vitriolic condemnation of the federal government in Kyiv and communicate of imaginable reconciliation.

On a table stands a tragic non-public souvenir of the battle. a photograph, tied smartly with black ribbons throughout two corners, shows his son and daughter-in-regulation, killed by way of shelling at the similar day in January 2015.

Like others interviewed by Reuters in latest weeks on either side of the front line in Ukraine, Cherkas stated he hopes for peace. “Who cares what language you speak – essentially the most essential thing is that there must be friendship, equality and brotherhood, proper?”

within the meantime, although, he is still adding to the entries in his logbook. a contemporary one presentations the demise of one separatist fighter and the wounding of some other within the village of Trudovskiye, a couple of days after Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden held a video name to speak about the Ukraine crisis.

Cherkas says he and his wife are too antique to get anxious – but in addition they recognize they are trapped. “There’s nowhere here to hide if struggle breaks out.”

Leave a comment