Dean O'Brien's Blog

Sloviansk – Part 1: ‘Welcome To Hell’

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After flying into Kiev it wasn’t long before I caught my train and headed east to the city of Sloviansk.  This was the first city to come under control of non-government (pro-Russian) forces in April 2014.  It was also the city where the first proper battle took place between government and non-government forces.

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Although only held for a short period of time, Sloviansk suffered tremendously from shell damage.  It’s residents now have to live with the after affects of this.  Damaged roads and the shelled remains of buildings pave the way into the city.

We don’t hear about these places on the news do we?  A combination of broken buildings and ruined lives.  Not important enough for Western media to report on.  To them, all the important action happened 3 years ago.  It seems that what remains, isn’t classed as newsworthy’ anymore.  The people here are aware of this, and this kind of ignorance has given them huge doubts about journalists and media outlets who come here, and their intentions.

Its not all doom and gloom though.  I feel safe enough walking around the city on my own and people are approachable, if a little wary.   The aren’t many foreigners here and those that are here mostly work for NGO’s.  I refrain from carrying an ‘attention grabbing’ SLR and rely on a smartphone, which captures acceptable images.

Many NGO’s are located here including some which cross into the non-goverment (pro-Russian) controlled areas.  They help with sanitation, clothing, food, water and even give financial aid.  Some NGO’s are better than others though, but any help is better than no help at all.

I continue to wander around the city, and as I crouch down to take an image, one passer by shouts out ‘Welcome to hell’.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

November 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

Posted in Ukraine

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One Response

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  1. So glad to read this. Finally the stories I would like to hear about thoughts of the people in Ukrainian controlled Donbass.


    November 4, 2017 at 8:47 pm

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