Daily Life in Donetsk
Since 2014 the city of Donetsk has experienced the darkness of war on home soil. As a consequence to the Minsk Protocol, citizens have tried to bring back a more normal life regardless of the curfew established by the unrecognized government, Donetsk People's Republic.
For local youth, sports are an important daily activity, especially gymnastics and boxing.
The adult population has found escape and comfort in music and opera with the reopening of the Donetsk Theatre in 2015. While one may overhear backstage that “Art can be a safe place”, the city centre resonates with the echo of bombs hitting peripheral areas such as Spartak and Petrovsky Rajon. However, Donetsk’s citizens have decided that the show must go on. That art can and must still have a place in their lives.
As the government reintroduces values that were once common in the Soviet Union, propaganda is used to make the population feel closer to Russia rather than Europe. An example is the celebration of Victory Day on May 9th, which commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Germany in WWII or as the Russians call it, the Great Patriotic War. Flowers are tossed and veterans sanctified with cries of “Spasibo!” (“Thank you!”) as Ukrainian forces are admittedly compared to the old Nazi enemy.