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As families flee, Donetsk rebels offer shelter, food and prayer
AFP via Yahoo! ^ | Anna Malpas

Posted on 06/13/2014 10:55:55 AM PDT by wetphoenix

Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Her eyes red, Valentina Chebanova sat opposite her seven-year-old granddaughter as a group of women and children waited to be bussed to Russia by rebels in Ukraine's southeastern city of Donetsk.

"I lived all my life here... I don't want to go to Russia forever," she said as she began to weep.

"I don't want to go far. Just for a little while and then it will all be over."

The first stop would be the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, just across the border, but she had no idea where they would be sent next.

Valentina and her family are among the many locals from Ukraine's restive east that are being sent to Russia to escape the violence that has been gripping the region for the past two months.

In the headquarters of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic", around 30 women and children milled around in the ground floor canteen.

The separatists have taken over the city's former regional government building, a grey Soviet-era block that looms at the end of the central boulevard.

Children played under a table, while family groups hurriedly shovelled down a meal of boiled potatoes and cabbage salad.

Several women said they were glad to escape homes surrounded by checkpoints and raked by gunfire.

- 'They shoot every night' -

Yulia, chasing her one-year-old son around the room, said she came from the industrial port city of Mariupol that has seen heavy fighting.

"We live near a checkpoint and they shoot every night" she said.

"We are sure of a welcome in Russia. We think everything will be good there," she said.

"They promised us work and accommodation," said 33-year-old Anzhela from Kostiantynivka in the Donetsk region, accompanied by her four children aged two to 12.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Russia
KEYWORDS: ukraine

1 posted on 06/13/2014 10:55:55 AM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: wetphoenix

Lots of twitter reports out of Mariupol about Right Sector going door to door, beating people. Many people supposedly dead, from the fighting and retributions.

Apparently, having the Zello app on your phone is enough to be branded as a traitor by the RS.

2 posted on 06/13/2014 11:01:13 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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