Diana Berg is an active supporter of Ukraine’s unity who had to move out of her native city of Donetsk last spring, when lives of people like her became endangered as a result of actions of pro-Russian activists. For some time, Diana lived in the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv but then moved closer to her home city, to Mariupol in Donetsk Region. What follows is Diana’s reflections on how the city’s community reacted to January 24, when 30 peaceful residents were killed in what is alleged to be a shelling by rebel forces:
I will tell you what Mariupol is.
It is the city where people don’t run away in panic after a terrorist attack – they mobilize gritting their teeth and act instead of crying.
Where there is a queue to the hemotransfusion station and people are asked not to come anymore after only an hour because there’s enough blood already.
Where the city’s drugstores are empty because all medicines had been bought up by citizens and given to injured people in hospitals.
Where a group of 50 people gathered at a rally after the tragedy and collected almost 10 000 hryvnas within half an hour for victims of the attack.
Where common citizens organize the plan of the district’s reconstruction after it’s been shelled and proceed to its realization right away.
Where people come to you in a café saying: “We heard what you’ve been talking about, thank you for everything!”
Where strangers in the street offer you transport and medicine.
Where hotels and health resorts open their doors for families who lost their homes.
Where citizens bring food and water to the epicenter and help emergency workers to start the generator under the flashes of Grad rocket batteries over the de-energized district…
It’s the city where suddenly there are no more competitors, only helpers, friends and brothers, teamed up for one goal
In short, this city seems to have more Ukrainian patriots than Lviv, even though not all of them realize this.
Mariupol is the city of strength, guys.