Desacrated shrines, by Dagmar Henn

Note: this is the first article sent to me by the Saker Community representative in Novorussia, Dagmar Henn, from the German Saker Blog.  Dagmar has had a tough trip, with very little opportunity to write and only sporadic and slow Internet connections (this is, after all, a war zone).  I hope that this will be a first of a series of eyewitness reports by Dagmar about the reality of life in Novorussia today.

The Saker


Desacrated shrines

by Dagmar Henn

We stop in front of a burnt-out church. This is Petrovsky, one of the areas most affected by Ukrainian shelling. The destruction seems completely accidental, a shelling lottery  that left ruins between untouched, immaculate buildings. This is a suburb with small single-floor houses built with red bricks, surrounded by green metal fences, squeezed between mines, factories and railroads. The whole landscape is dominated by the artificial hills, left by a century of mining, that still show their raw stoney faces.

This building was built in the 19th century as an administrative building, tells Alexandr Kolesnik, a member of the Novorosian parliament, later turned into a school and eventually transformed into a church, during perestroika. All the women in our group cover their heads. Stanislawska, one of our guards, rushes to the Turkish photographer to ask for the neckerchief around his neck, when shenotices [deletedthat’] I don’t have anything on me that could be used as concealment, so I end up entering the place with his grey, cotton scarf over my hair. What once was the central room, is now an open ruin. Black marks slide down from the gawping holes that used to be windows, and the smell of burnt wood lingers in the air, even though the fire died down weeks ago. The roof of the entrance still exists, only now as a ceiling of charcoal. This is Donetsks tiny version, of Coventry cathedral.

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