Ukraine Russia Republic of Luhansk

A Trip to the Pro-Russian Pseudo-State of Luhansk

The war is essentially over in eastern Ukraine, but peace hasn’t yet begun. A visit to the self-proclaimed mini-state known as the People’s Republic of Luhansk shows that the road back to normality is long and full of obstacles.


https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/ukraine-the-pro-russian-pseudo-state-of-luhansk-a-1291870.html

Alexey Karyakin, born in 1980, is one of the fathers of the People’s Republic and was the first president of its parliament — though there are no political parties in parliament, with all of them having been banned. There are only “movements.” One of them is called “Freedom for Luhansk” and the other is the “Economic Union.”

The fact that Karyakin is still alive is anything but a given. The People’s Republic has been run with mafia methods. One Luhansk “prime minister” was apparently tortured to death in prison while several military leaders have died in arson attacks. Karyakin also had to flee Luhansk for a time.

The situation has calmed significantly since a 2017 coup. Plus, what happens in Luhansk is ultimately decided by curators in the Kremlin anyway. Karyakin is now head of the “Public Chamber of the People’s Republic of Luhansk,” a largely ceremonial position. A portrait of Vladimir Putin hangs on the wall above his desk.

The younger ones move away from Luhansk, some to Russia and others to Ukraine. “In 2014, we fell out with many friends,” says one married couple who didn’t share the pro-Russia enthusiasm many felt at the time. “The euphoria has since vanished, which makes things easier for us. But now, everybody avoids politics altogether. Essentially, we are waiting, but we don’t know what for.”

They say they would long since have left if it wasn’t so difficult to sell their apartment in Luhansk. At the same time, it hurts them that many in Ukraine see them as traitors just because they’ve stayed.

Eastern Europe and holocaust

Rewriting History in Eastern Europe

Poland’s New Holocaust Law and the Politics of the Past

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a controversial law criminalizing statements that attribute responsibility for the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities to “the Polish nation.”
The law is just the latest part of a broader effort at historical revisionism.
Nor is Poland the only postcommunist country that has tried to reframe the history of its role in World War II and defend the part it played in the Holocaust. Hungary, Ukraine, and the Baltic states have all made similar moves.
ascendant right-wing populist parties across Europe mean that the union no longer speaks with one voice. Sanctioning a member state is now more difficult.Right-wing populist politicians, traditionally Euroskeptics, are now even more willing to invite international disapproval and gain domestic popularity by stoking nationalism and whitewashing the past.
In states that experience direct threats from Russia and are ruled by right-wing populist parties, the trend toward policing history and silencing inconvenient facts about their roles in World War II is likely to continue. That will heighten tensions with the United States and Israeldivide allies even within eastern Europe, and stifle open debate. Ironically, it is Putin’s autocracy that might benefit the most from these developments.

Refugees in Ukraine

Domestic Refugees in UkraineWaiting Out the War

The war in eastern Ukraine has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people, forcing them to flee from the constant shelling. Many of them have since found shelter, but they are yearning to return to their old lives.