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IamA escaped from East Ukraine 4 days ago. AMA!

May 24th 2014 by green_mouse972 • 23 Questions • 803 Points

Hi, reddit. My friend, his wife and child escaped from Artyomovsk (city in East Ukraine) 4 days ago. Now they stay at my apartment in Tel-Aviv.

Dima and me was roommates 10 years ago when we both served in IDF. He lives 4 years in Israel, served in IDF and after this come back to Artyomovsk.

4 days ago he came to Israel with his family. Since he doesn't know english well, I will help him with translation.

My opinion may be different, but I will try to translate his words accurately as possible.

From now all direct speech in this thread it's not mine.

Hi, all. I'am Dimitry. Was born and grown in Doneck region of Ukraine. 10 years ago I made Aliah (immigration) to Israel, and served there in IDF. After my Army service I came back to Ukraine, finished my study in university. Married, have a baby born, and 4 days ago I came back to Israel. AMA!

Proof: http://imgur.com/a/z84Du

Q:

Do you support the cause of either side in Donetsk?

A:

No. Both sides unlawfully took the power.


Q:

You say that you escaped. Can you describe getting out, and if you had any problems leaving?

There have been conflicting reports of who controls what specifically in Donetsk, including the airport, so I am curious how the situation was when leaving.

Did you have to bribe any rebels, government-forces or officials when traveling to or at the airport?

I am glad you and your family are safe, and hope you will be be able to find your home wherever you are.

A:

I was stopped by unknown people wearing shorts and sunglasses without T-shirts.

After this i saw some armed man but they didn't stop us.

Thank you.


Q:

What about Poroshenko, who seems to be winning by a landslide?

Does he have a past of corruption?

A:

I do not remember, but he is oligarch like any other oligarchs in Ukrainia.


Q:

Was your decision to leave ideological or was it what you felt was necessary to keep your family safe?

A:

Just want to keep my family safe.


Q:

Is there anything you miss from your home? Would you ever want to go back there once things settle?

A:

Israel its a small country, i miss huge forests, lakes and rivers. In short nature.


Q:

Your thoughts on the media coverage of the conflict? In Ukraine, Israel and Russia?

A:

Ukrainian media engage in propaganda because they owned by oligarchs. They don't show real picture. The Russian media its same thing. There a lot fakes from both sides.

I think the the most objective information you can find in social media.


Q:

As an Israeli, all I can do is wish you good luck in Israel.

A:

תודה רבה


Q:

Are you jewish? If you are,I have a question,is there any threat to the jewish community inside the occupied regions,is there an anti-semitic feeling among people there,I ask these because I read an article a week ago saying that there are more jew ukrainians leaving ukraine than 2013.Is this true?

A:

Yes I'am jewish. Not I don't feel or seen any anti-semitic there.


Q:

Was there a specific event in Ukraine that made them decide to leave?

I thought there was an election being held soon and that the situation was overall deescalating.

Also, how are public services holding up in that part of the country between the transition govt and fighting?

A:

The real battle including helicopters and artillery fire from Ukrainian army side and collapsed banking system.

There no police there, medical service work hard and trying to do the best.


Q:

Have you seen any actual fighting around your area or just hear/read about it on the news? If you did, can you tell us about the fighting you saw?

A:

I saw a fake, I heard shoots and helicopters, but in morning then I go to the shop and see military base where was a "fight" (according to media), I don't see any signs of bullets. But in Ukrainian media they write about 100 attackers.


Q:

Do you think that Russia has any moral claim on any parts of Ukraine?

Do you think that the narrative of Ukrainian patriots is acceptable in modern society?

A:

Do you think that Russia has any moral claim on any parts of Ukraine?

No

Do you think that the narrative of Ukrainian patriots is acceptable in modern society?

Yes, if they not extreme right wing.


Q:

Do you believe your new home has any moral claim on the Syrian Golan Heights and the Lebanese Shebaa farms?

Why do its inhabitants refuse the identity you helped impose on them while the vast majority of Crimeans embrace Russia?

A:

It't a hard question.

If Israel sign peace treaty with Syria and Lebanon, I personally have no problems to return these territories.


Q:

Did you face any anti-Semitism from Euromaidan/the Kiev-aligned faction? I've heard some harrowing things about them.

A:

No.


Q:

Did you go back to Ukraine to finish your studies, and then came back to Israel, or did you leave Ukraine because of the turmoil there?

A:

I don't plan to come back to Israel before events in south-east.


Q:

Do you have other family still back in Ukraine?

A:

yes grandparents still there.


Q:

What is your opinion about Maidan, new Kiev government, relations with Russia and supposed meddling of the US?

Do you have sympathy towards rebels? What about people in the whole?

Do you think the referendum was important? How big was the turnout, 20%,40%,75%?

How often do you watch/read Ukrainian/Russian/Western media? What are the most reliable sources? If non mass media, then what websites exactly?

Can you please explain as detailed as you can what is the difference between Ru/Ua/western media? What is more or less truth in each narrative, what is fiction? How much do you trust Ukr media, how did you like the presidential debates?

Who would you have voted for? What do you think would happen in Ukraine in this year and later? What do you think needs to be done to solve the crisis and save Ukraine?

Thank you for answers.

A:
  1. Until it was peaceful, I disagreed with it but believed that they right to do this. But after capture of government buildings and using movotov cocktails, rocks, and some time traumatic weapons, I stated support Ukrainian government (Yanukivich).

  2. No, they not people from Dombas. Other people want peace and stability.

  3. I think it was 50/50.

  4. Most reliable source its social media.


Q:

I hope your family and families like yours find peace and happiness!

A:

Thank you.


Q:

Did the anti-Semitism in the region arise because of the Kolomoisky?

A:

Till now not, but I'm afraid it will grow soon because of his actions.


Q:

To keep it short, to what extent to you think the USA is involved in events on the ground in Ukraine?

We all heard the neuland recordings where they discuss who they would like to put in power and the infamous 5 billion invested in Ukrainian democracy but just wondering how Ukrainians feel about this and do you feel trapped between two bigger powers right now?

A:

I think USA sponsor Maydan, and new Ukrainian government.

My opinion these 5B was a bad thing because war happened in any place where USA invest money in democracy.


Q:

Thank you for your response! I hope everything works out for all of you.

A:

Thanks.


Q:

Why do you think that things will not return to being normal? Is it only for South-East or Ukraine as a whole? Do you think that peaceful resolution is still possible? Many thanks!

A:

I think someone (i don't know who) have a profit from this situation.

While-that its only South-East but then I see new Ukrainian government actions I think its just only matter of time then people from west will rise up.


Q:

Sorry, another one came to mind. Do you think that Poroshenko has the guts to unite Ukraine and fix the whole thing?

A:

It depends on Russia (if they will accept him). But don't forget he is oligarch like any other.


Q:

Apart from the danger of being caught up in the fighting and artillery strikes. How big was the impact on the day to day life in your town?

Were there many checkpoints you had to go through? Did you see any harassment of civilians from separatists or the military? Were businesses open? Did people go to work as normal? Did the cost of food/goods increase?

A:

In my city all businesses worked as usual. The price grow was the same as in whole country. The only thing, ATM was closed. And only 3 or 4 banks branch was opened.

And all fire its not in my city its 30km from there.