Luhansk is the sweetheart city, which became a pipe dream for those, who was forced to leave it in connection with warfare in 2014. Hardly people, left this settlement are ready to accept it in today’s condition: empty, cautious and incredulous.
Let’s walk on quiet sunny streets of once half a million giant, which plunged into painful drowsiness and probably is seeing another nightmare.
Damaged mechanized bakery and excursion to the ZOO
Kirova street near railway station always was famous for having a big number of useful and tasty enterprises on it. There were brewery and bakery. First had stopped its work already before a war. You don’t hear the smell of fresh bread and bunnies anymore here, the building of a mechanized bakery was significantly damaged by shelling and suffered from looters. Either the vandals were ideologically ‘correct’ here, or chance, but first word from the name of the shop ‘Ukrainian flat bread’ mysteriously disappeared.
Let’s walk to area near May 1 park. The square is eagerly waiting for the beginning of the season. There is ferris wheel, alike in Pripyat, frozen is its greedy for kids. Sinister sculpture of a wooden bear, mounted in the park, is a concentrated sample of universal anguish. Scary!
It’s better to walk to the place, which is considered to be a ZOO in Luhansk. Animals have already waken up from hibernation and feel freshly enough. Curious roe Boltik greeted the guests, and the proud lion doesn’t pay much attention to visitors, substituting his majestic mane for the first warm rays. Lama Bruce amazes with his spontaneity and a little powder. Some predatory bird furiously bites the corpse of a small pig in aviary. According to the words of ZOO attendants, such delicacy is enough for it for three days. Wolf, foxy, little raccoon… In general, the local menagerie somehow hurt your soul: I advise to visit it to all the guests of Luhansk.
Area near House of Culture of Railway workers is empty and deserted, except ubiquitous in camouflage, staring suspiciously on a man with camera. Hotel ‘October’, the second name ‘Ukraine’ is perfect in any weather, pleasantly striking with its unusual architecture and grandeur.
The number of ‘little green men’ in Luhansk is impressive. Especially there are a lot of them in an old center and districts, closer to Kambrod (oldest area of Luhansk).
The office of the ‘republic’ cell operator ‘Lugacom’ is located on Karl Marx street. In spite of the statements about permanently developing net covering, ‘Lugacom’ abonents are complaining on the often communication failures: ostensibly ‘saboteurs’ cut trunk cables of ‘Lugacom’.
There is empty and pathetic in Fighters of the Revolution square. English trophy tanks ‘Mark V’ are sadly sitting on the square, without causing much interest among passers-by. Somebody wrote ‘Do good’ under the barrel of one of them. Symbolically. There nowhere to sit for tired pedestrians near ‘Marks’, benches are broken by unknown hooligans, what for?
Vladimir Ilich tiredly looking for blank Theatre square. It’s funny here only at New Year, when local ‘authorities’ mount cone-fir-tree.
Rus traitors and integrity memories
Near ‘Luhansk’ hotel and ex-restaurant ‘Pernik’ (famous and legendary place in the city, which was full of prostitutes in 1990’s) there is a crowd: people hurry on business, to the university, to the market. Looking at this everyday bustle it seems that there was no war in Lugansk.
But this deceptive impression rapidly disperses, when you pass by some rusty installation, on which fighter, holding a kid in his hands, is depicted. This some kind of a ‘monument’ was mounted near Children’s hospital and symbolizes the death of children during an air strike on Luhansk regional state administration in June 2, 2014. But such a fact, that no kid suffered at this accident, doesn’t worry anybody.
Area near Voroshilov monument is the favourite place for skaters. USSR Marshall now is looking not for triumph moving of his troops, but for cheerful gang of young Lugansk people, who are quick to ride their skateboards.
‘Separatist – you are a traitor of Rus’ – this information is written near overpass. It’s interesting, if those, who called a war in our lands think about this accusation? Or habitually ignored it? No one knows.
Big red star, mounted by Russian motorcyclists ‘Night wolves’, in spite of ‘sabotage’, once again came back on its place (how long?). ‘As in Soviet Union’, looking at star, woman, carrying proudly pronounces a lot of checkered bags on a wheelbarrow. On my question, why she likes this installation, she begins lengthy reasoning about former power of Soviet country, however, without finding any of reasons to be glad, if it’s about life in modern Luhansk.
Once again there are no people at the railway station. Silence, echo and too much of empty space. Today it seems extremely huge. There are wagons, maybe, with coal. It’s interesting, will they go to mines of controlled by Ukraine territory?
Looking on today’s Luhansk, a sense of uncertainty and uncertainty oppresses most of all. If there was confidence in far 2014 that conflict would be quickly resolved and the city would live its habitual life, so, today nobody clings to a straw for this idea.
The inscription ‘Unified. Remember’ is still written on the showcase of one of the ex-banks.
Aleksei Kirillov for informator.media
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