Next to posters for the glory of the revolution, Donetsk citizens carried signs declaring “Ukraine — aggressor,” “OSCE, open your eyes!” and “Save the people of Donbass!”
By Julia Andrienko
“The seventh day of November is the red day on the calendar!” — so this day began in my childhood. It was a real holiday in the midst of gloomy November: with a parade, relatives coming from long distances, and universal joy. Later I learned that behind it all there was the 8-hour working day, free healthcare and education, social security, and most importantly — unconditional pride for your country. But then I was just a little thing with balloons, and I took everything for granted: a three-room apartment in a new building given to my parents as young specialists, the absence of war in my country, and travel throughout the Soviet Union. How could it be otherwise? Now I know it could.
|Once on that day, millions of people went to demonstrations throughout the vast country. Photos: Julia Andrienko|
November 7 this year in Donetsk was rainy and gray, but long before the start of the march, scheduled for 10:30, people gathered at the entrance of the Krupskaya Library. Unfolding the banner – handing out signs. Here are some that I remember from childhood — miniature red and gold flags on wooden sticks. A woman opens a package — it’s full of improvised red bows — just like Ilyich’s on some postcards. Bows fly away instantly, like leaflets with such familiar calls: “Workers of all countries, unite!”, “Power to the Soviets, land to the peasants, peace to the peoples!” Most participants are people who still remember the Soviet demonstrations. But I see young people among them.
|I remember those flags from my childhood. People keep them as a remembrance.|
“For me this is a great day, maybe the most glorious day in our history. I’ve been interested in this topic for a long time, I read a lot, today I’ve asked permission to be absent from school to take part in the procession, “says 16-year-old Alexander Gordeev.
We are Pioneers, children of workers
Suddenly I notice several kids with red ties in the crowd. They turn out to be Pioneers of the revived organization in the name of Vladimir Lenin, successors to the former Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union. They’re no different from me in 1986, except they have cell phones.
|The Pioneer movement is reviving in the Republic.|
|The march pays tribute to Motorola (assassinated militia leader pictured on billboard).|
|These people are unlikely to believe new films about Lenin and horror stories about the Soviet Union.|
At the rally, deputies and militia speak. Particularly memorable was the statement by Beneth Ayo, a Black soldier of the armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
|Beneth Ayo, second from right. Photo: Rusvesna.su|
To the small rally on the Jubilee of October came a real internationalist, Christina Franz, a member of the German Left Party. The woman said that it is an honor for her to visit Donetsk and see its heroic people. After her speech, an elderly Donchanka came to her and handed Christine a rare postcard depicting Lenin. One woman with the Donbass dialect, the other with a German accent, talked like old friends.
|Christina Franz says it is an honor to visit Donetsk.|
|That badge used to belong to every schoolkid in the USSR.|
Translated by Greg Butterfield