My morning today started with an early phone call from Fyodor Kamelaskin, a resident of eastern Ukrainian city of Alchevsk. I first talked to Fyodor about a week ago when he asked me and my fellow volunteers to evacuate his wife and young kids from the conflict zone. He was desperate to move to a land where groceries are open and doctors are available.
Fyodor is 30, his wife is 29 and kids are 4 and 6. During our last evacuation visit to the zone we could not take them with us because the family wanted to collect all necessary documents, and fix their car. [Refugees in Ukraine get very little help and it would be very hard for them to settle in a new place without the documents and the car].
Today Fyodor and his family decided to move on his own. They drove off-road to avoid the separatists’ checkpoints; Cossacks were not happy to see the family leaving the “independent republic”. To let you understand the risk, remember that most of the fields near frontline are mined.
The family was delighted when they left the last separatists checkpoint behind. They passed the first Ukrainian checkpoint with no problems.
At the second checkpoint, near the village of Hirs’ke, Luhansk region, the family was stopped by guardsmen from the Volunteer Battalion Luhansk-1(subordinated to the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior). In brutal and obscene language the guard explained that the family has to go back.
Fyodor called me and Victoria for support. Victoria was in Sweden where roaming heartlessly exhausted her phone deposit. I could only listen powerlessly to the soldier’s emotional directives Fyodor to return home.
And after all their efforts the family had no choice but to go back to unknown.
There are thousands of similar stories. I have a question — is this idiotic pass system really needed? It does not solve the problem it designed to solve [to protect Ukraine from terrorists]. Instead it only creates a blockade/isolation of peaceful citizens, families with children, handicapped and elderly.
Dear government officials, please, show at least one real “terrorist” you caught because of this pass system.
Meanwhile, our volunteers can show you tens of thousands mothers, kids, handicapped persons, orphans and old people, who are dying of hunger and cannot get out from the area of conflict.
Moreover, we can tell you about the enormous scale of the corruption that this system enabled. “Thank you” for that!
Probably from the comfortable Kiev offices it is hard to imagine what actually happens «in the cold». We invite you to go with us to the war zone, just once, and see everything with your own eyes!
P.S. So that these words would not go unfounded, I intend to file a lawsuit against the Ukrainian government to dismantle this pass system which in fact blocks the civilian population in the uncontrolled territories. I urge other volunteers to join such lawsuit. I also fully support similar judicial efforts by Sergey Kosyak.
P.P.S. We will try to evacuate Fyodor and his family on March 13-14th. Already started negotiations.
P.P.P.S. It is not what we fought for at Maidan, gentlemen who came to power thanks to it. No, it is not! We did not fight so you would create new corrupt schemes while “heroically” blocking mothers with children who are trying to escape from hell!
PEACE FOR UKRAINE!"
This post is also available in: Russian