Dean O'Brien's Blog

Kramatorsk – Поехали!

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After leaving Sloviansk I then headed to Kramatorsk.  It’s only a short (and cheap) taxi ride.  It’s here that I meet Andrei.  Originally from Donetsk, Andrei now lives in Kramatorsk, and like many, has to make the occasional trip across into the non government controlled area to visit family etc..  Having to cross through both government (Ukrainian) and non -government (pro-Russian) controlled checkpoints, this is a trip that can take anything from 3 hours up to as much as 24, depending on the circumstances.  Although it has taken days on some occasions.

He offers to show me around  the city and introduces me to many local people living in the area.  As per, I head to where Lenin once stood.  Now stands a naked plinth painted in yellow and blue.  It looks freshly painted.  A passer by tells me this is because it’s regularly vandalised with swastikas, ss and nazi slogans (as the images below show).  Although under Ukrainian control, Kramatorsk (like Sloviansk) still carries a large amount of support for non -government (pro-Russian) forces.

I spend a lot of time here wandering around on my own during the day.  I took the steps of not carrying my SLR camera and opting to use my iPhone instead.  I wasn’t paranoid but there was a strange tension in the air here and I didn’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to myself.  Soviet mosaics still remain as do may Soviet street names.

Nightlife is pretty quiet here as one might expect.  There’s no curfew but the streets start to empty as darkness draws in.  Andrei introduces me to many of his family and friends.  We drink beer, eat pizza and talk about work, hobbies and what the future holds.  As with Sloviansk, life goes on.  I plan to document life here in a lot more detail when I return later this year.




Written by Dean O'Brien

February 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Ukraine

2 Responses

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  1. Wow, that mosiac is in really good shape for its age!


    February 3, 2018 at 1:56 am

  2. It is Katherine. It’s surprising how well many of these have stood up to the weather over the years. True testament to the design and workmanship that went into them.

    Dean O'Brien

    February 3, 2018 at 5:53 pm

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