Ukraine is negotiating for three new points for separation of forces. According to Andrii Zahorodniuk, a Minister of Defense, these could be a railway bridge around Stanytsia Luhanska, as well as Novoselivka-2 and control point of entry/exit Hnutove in Donetsk region. The minister noticed that only those sites that “will really have a humanitarian component” are being prepared. However, the humanitarian component is not so good even in those settlements on the demarcation line, where the way is supposed to be already established. HROMADA Skhid journalists found out about this when visiting villages near Horlivka, which are almost on the front line.
Mariia does not want to move from the village where she grew up, although she confirms that a third of the pre-war population have left Novoluhanske. She complains that there is no rest in old age. The whole pension is spent on utilities, because she did not apply for a subsidy this year. They also shoot every night. Although she has worked as a milkmaid for thirty-five years, she is paid almost nothing. But it is possible to overcome this, she says, the main thing is that the war is over.
In the local kindergarten, director Vira Hlotova also talks about the departure of young people and, accordingly, children. Before the war, almost a hundred kids visited the garden, now sixty. Nothing already reminds about the fact that there was a direct hit of a shell into the building of a preschool institution. Due to the local budget, the building was not only restored but also repaired. To be honest, overhauls have been halted now, but it is already very cozy. Furniture, toys, plumbing equipment are all new, and even the equipment in the kitchen is modern, which is not often even in urban schools.
There are shops in Novoluhanske, houses are being repaired, there is a post office, an ATM, a club. The cultural institution accepts and distributes humanitarian aid: warm clothing, shoes, other things, in particular those brought by representatives of civil-military cooperation with humanitarian cargo from the Republic of Latvia. Mariia is also going to choose shoes for her because new ones are expensive to buy. She does not refuse the help of the military, who twice a week bring and distribute bread and other products.
Currently, Novoluhanske Village Council includes four settlements on the paper: Novoluhanske, Semyhiria, Travneve and Dolomitne. The latter is located on the territory not controlled by Ukraine. As for Hladosove, though it is behind Ukraine, it remains bureaucratically alone.
– Since 2017, we have been trying to include Hladosove in our village council, but no final decision has been made yet. Already there is an order of a head of the Donetsk military-civil administration, but it is still necessary to carry out a series of coordination measures for such a “merger”, – Nataliia Rudenko, a secretary of the Novoluhanske village council, said.
Hladosove is the former street of Holmivskyi village of Horlivka. Up to forty people live there now. Access to it is restricted primarily for security reasons. Mainly military and volunteers of international organizations provide bread and other necessities, as well as medical assistance.
Hladosove can only be reached by tank. Public transport does not go there. On our own car, we were able to overcome only part of the way. Further – only on foot: the dirt road was washed away by precipitation and turned into solid mud. Accompanied by the military, we reached only Travneve.
There are many empty houses destroyed by shelling on the streets of Travneve. There are damaged houses where people continue to live. Having found out that the journalists had arrived, the villagers gathered in one of the houses to remind that they are. They have a lot of problems that they cannot solve on their own. 120 people are still in the village under fire. Most of them are old and sick. There is a family with a child. There is neither drinking water nor a shop here. In dry weather, humanitarian organizations bring water and medicines, the outgoing shop works. But the trouble is that due to bad weather, the village often remains cut off from the blessings of civilization for a long time.
– What is there to talk? It is very scary in the dark, moreover under fire, especially for lonely people, – the villagers admit.
Vadym Filashkin, a deputy head of the Donetsk Military Civil Administration, says that he has heard people and the electricity will be turned back on. Also, the road will be laid off to Travneve. He assured that he knows about the problem of “impassable” roads, and to other settlements, in particular, in the direction of Dacha, a road will also be covered with kilometers. He said that the reconstruction of housing will start on April 1 – 64 houses were damaged in Travneve:
– If the “state of cease fire” is set, we will repair by ourselves. If not, we will supply the material, there is an agreement with the Proliska mission, they promised to help with the builders and the financing of their works.
Representatives of the Humanitarian mission Proliska already have the necessary experience. They were the first who processed invitations to the “state of cease fire” during restoration work in the Opytne and Pisky villages. At that time, together with the regional Military Civil Administration, roofs of houses damaged by shootings were repaired and windows were installed. Concerning the works in Travneve and Hladosove, a request has already been made for a green corridor along the UN and OSCE lines to fill the roads and bring in building materials to restore housing.
There are 10 offices of Proliska in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. They cover 600 settlements along the demarcation line, where half a million people live. Social workers of the organization regularly visit villages, provide assistance in obtaining passport services, resolving pension issues, reissuanceof documents.
Since the beginning of last year, a pilot project has been launched with the support of the UN Refugee Agency. It allows families to buy housing from such isolated settlements as Travneve and Hladosove. Last year, under this program, Proliska purchased 14 homes, including a family with a child from Travneve.
Yevhen KAPLIN, a Head of the Humanitarian mission Proliska:
– There were two families with children in Travneve and Hladosove. Last year, we offered the mother with a 3-year-old child an apartment in Chasiv Yar, and she left Travneve. The child did not have the opportunity to visit a kindergarten, and when the shell hit the window, she stopped talking. For a long time, a psychologist of a humanitarian organization worked with a kid. Their new home in Chasiv Yaris located near a preschool institution, there is an access to other services, and what is more importantly –it is safe there.
Our agreement on a family from Hladosove village has just finished. A boy is ninth year, he does not go to school, studying by correspondence. He was given schoolbooks and told that his mother would teach with him, since it is not possible to organize a school bus there. As soon as the former owners vacate the house, the family will move to their new home in Soledar.
P.S. The day after the reporters’ visit to Travneve, the electricity supply in the village was repaired.
P.S. S. During the layout of the newspaper, we learned about setting up a bus service to Travneve and Hladosove.
Liliia ANDRUSYK/GROMADA Skhid No. 2 (11) 2020