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Around one third believe in the truce and want to return home. All the rest come back to take warm clothes or out of fear for their home and work.

Says Yulia KONOTOPTSEVA, volunteer of the “Stantsiia Kharkov” public initiative.

Yulia KONOTOPTSEVA
Yulia KONOTOPTSEVA
Photo: Yulia Konotoptseva/ Facebook

Several categories of people are returning to Donbass. Some just want to take warm clothes as the cold season is approaching. These people moved out in the summer, literally wearing slippers, and now they have to come back. However, as a rule, they do not stay there.

Some people fear for their home and work. There are cases when people were called and demanded to get back to work otherwise they could lose their job. It turned out upon return that there was no work because everything was idle. These people are lured back on purpose just to be used as a “live shield”. People also fear for their flats and come back to prevent terrorists from moving in there. These cases are also quite numerous. They sometimes move in arbitrarily, sometimes they suggest paying $100 and threaten to force people out in case they refuse.

Approximately one third of people who are coming back now hope for the truce and want to return and live at home.

It should be mentioned that whereas women with children may feel relatively safe, men must be cautious. We know about cases when terrorists literally took men right from the trains, though not to join the National Guard but rather to dig trenches. 

However, we are getting ready for a new wave of migrants leaving Donbass in a couple of weeks. There are a lot of problems with heating, water and power supply. When it gets colder, people will flee from impossible living conditions rather than from war.
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