Hello, I am Diana Berg, an activist from pro-Ukrainian movement “Donetsk is Ukraine”. I want to talk about fear.
I spent last weekend in Kiev, visiting Maidan for the first time this year. Walking down the destroyed part of Khreshatik, seeing all those burnt buildings, touching barricades — Kiev felt like a relaxing resort to me, despite the smell of rubber and revolution. Its not that I am a fan of decadence, but I felt happy because all I could see were national flags waving everywhere, from small ribbons inside vehicles to huge banners on the bridge to Ukrainian flags on trees.
Every minute someone greeted me with “Glory to Ukraine” — the slogan of Ukrainian nationalist movement that became a common motto for euro-maidaners. That seemed like a celebration of freedom and patriotism to me, although every moment I heard this greeting, I shuddered in fear — a habit I’ve got from Donbass, where we’ve been living in a threat for a long month.
Here in Donetsk you can’t carry a national flag — pro-russian crowd would attack and beat you. You can not put a small national symbol inside your car — they would crash it. And God forbid you shout “Glory to Ukraine” — they would try to kill you. We live in terror and fear since the beginning of March, and the moment we think it gets better — it gets even worse.
Today separatists stormed regional government, like they do every weekend, but this time they succeeded. A crowd broke through police line, destroyed the fence, crashed the windows and got into the building. Now a Russian flag is waving on the regional government and several hundred pro-Russian activists (looking pretty much like criminals) demand urgent referendum on joining Russia. A million of Donetsk citizens are terrified by a thousand separatists — here is what happens now in Donetsk.
And I remember my weekend in Kiev and I can’t believe Donetsk is the same country. However, I hope these words will not become a prophecy.
So lets wish the best for Donetsk, for Ukraine and for all of us. Thank you, it was Diana Berg from Donetsk.