An Ordinary Fascism: Two Stories, so Different, But the Same (Part I)

Another letter arrived in my e-mail box. It’s from the occupied territory; Sverdlovsk. I am afraid of these letters. There are more of them every day. They all contain a tone of bitterness within them. Though I can’t tell which more so; bitterness or frustration. Perhaps it’s a tone of bitter frustration, or perhaps an awareness of ones’ own stupidity. Maybe it’s the feeling of falsity. Or fear.

In stories they contain, there is so much that the mind refuses to understand. It almost seems beyond the measure of human comprehension to understand what is happening in the occupied territory.
Sometimes it seems to me as if these letters are from a movie script, or rather, what is happening in the occupation zone, is a movie. A frightening movie based on a brilliant novel, written by an insane person.

But no, they are real letters, personal voices, and destinies. They tell of life and death. They are looking into one’s soul with dead eye sockets from shattered cities. They make you think. They leave permanent scars for life. I call them notches. How many of them on our family? Nation? Country? A lot of them. The deepest of them are linked to Russia.
How, how does it happen that people of one country on genetic level are afraid of the others? They realize, that all their trouble – hunger, repression, war, occupation, are the criminal actions of another nation against another. Yet, somehow, despite this realization, they trust their executioner? And it doesn’t matter, what year it is, not even what century.
You will understand, if I’ll tell you two stories. Two seemingly different stories, but with same essence: Russia is a terrible machine of Hell, with experienced torturers from around the world,crucifying, turning into dust the inhabitants of their own country and bringing closer the day of judgment.
Sverdlovsk. Lugansk region. Russian occupation zone. 2016.
Here is the data collected by a group of impartial residents of Sverdlovsk during a four month period from November 2015 to February 2016.
People die in Sverdlovsk hospitals. The elderly, the lonely, people with disabilities, disabled children. They die in the hospital and at home, after a visit from a doctor or nurse. No one gives it a second thought, except for those physicians who are immune to Russian propaganda, and the relatives of the deceased, but only sometimes. Most often through, relatives struck with grief, simply do not realize what actually happened, and how a loved one on the mend one day, suddenly dies the next.
And it’s not about the swine flu. No, the flu season in “LPR” was even a happy coincidence. It was even necessary, as a factor in explaining the high natural mortality.
At first, no one paid attention to this mortality. Well, they’re old people, 65 years and older. Naturally, they’re dying. War, you know, stress, hunger. And then, people began to pay attention – medical staff and relatives of the dead, suddenly sick people. A group of impartial citizens established a “commission”, gathered grain-by-grain terrible facts, which may lead to criminal prosecution sometime in the future.
Children with disabilities (cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, and others), seniors without families, those 65 years and older, all of them died as a result of physician assisted lethal injections, performed without their consent. Euthanasia is not legal in the “LPR”. No, these physicians are carrying out an order from the “Health Ministry of LPR”, to reduce the population eligible for state subsidies.
In the “LPR” there is no money for pensions, benefits or social security entitlements. To wit, it was decided to eliminate the recipients.
The “MSS LPR” (Ministry of State Security) in the “MIA LPR”, the “Prosecutor Office of LPR” has dozens of statements on file from relatives who became suspicious at the sudden death of loved ones. Deaths of single people go unreported. Criminal investigation into the matter and judicial due process is denied in all of these complaints.
In the city of Chervonopartyzansk, from January 5th to the 15th, after a visit from a homecare Registered Nurse who administered injections, all 5 single disabled people died. Their apartments were robbed. Their burials were carried out without autopsy or a formal investigation as to the circumstances of their deaths. There are no forensic laboratories in “LPR”, as well as reagents.
In Sverdlovsk, relatives of a dead elderly woman drew attention to the inappropriate behavior of attending medical staff, who before the woman’s sudden death cynically exclaimed “it’s high time for her to be at the cemetery, and you are wasting time with her” resulted in an argument. During the quarrel, the nurse exclaimed to the patient’s granddaughter “Because of people, like her, we 55-year-olds, can’t get a pension.” A criminal complaint into the killing was denied, citing a lack of evidence.
Those without families are euthanized and robbed. In “LPR”, a bucket of potatoes and a jar of pickles costs money. People with disabilities and pensioners receive two living subsidies – a Ukrainian portion in UAH and “lenerovskuyu” in Russian rubles.
The old, sick, and those without relatives, who are eligible for pension payments, wind up on the list for reducing the contingent and are simply killed. After all, they are people with disabilities, the elderly, and pensioners; in short, a third-rate population. No one will find out. No one will sort any of it out on their behalf. They merely stand in the way of the living.
One can justify everything. People there, in the occupied zone, blinded by propaganda and hatred towards each other, are willing to kill. To kill and justify murder.
First, they justified the killing of Ukrainians by Russian troops, “after all, it is liberation”, then they justified crimes committed by marauding militias, “after all, they are Our Guys”. Then they crossed the line. When one can justify everything, even own stupidity, betrayal, crime and lack of forethought.
Until recently, women, who reached 55 years of age, were ecstatic when Plotnickij adopt a “law”, which entitled them to a pension. As a result, the number of pension seekers in the city increased in three months to 4,000. And this is just in one of the occupied cities.
Russian administrators apparently began to backtrack. They, most likely, didn’t like this “pension abundance”. First time pension applicants under the new criteria were refused under any pretext and denied these entitlements. Pensions, previously assigned in the “LNR”, still continue to be paid.
Bureaucratic roadblocks are nothing new. Before the war, the pension fund also delayed or outright denied pension disbursements. Everything from an incorrect stamp on a submission form, or an incorrect certificate format, or contention of a claimants’ length of service, was routine cause. But then, the courts were able to step in to protect people, and after a formal hearing, pensions were granted. Now in the “LPR” there is no recourse to justice, and those whose pension claims are denied are forced into an embittered life.
Anger, hatred for their lack of forethought, their faith in Russia, insulted by Russia itself, for desires, not fulfilled by war – those are some of the feelings the fans of the so-called “Russian World” in the “LPR” have. Succumb to propaganda, buying into the notion that they will live in the by-gone ghostly heaven – USSR, now they experiencing post-traumatic neurosis, realizing, with their own hands they have chosen their own destiny – to live in “Transnistria-2”.

Aid stations, hospitals, pharmacies are closing. State employees are paid less than in Ukraine, and less than in Russia. The cornucopia promised by Russian propagandists, once again, spat stale fumes in the face of its “Younger Brother”.
Minimizing the existing number of entitled people, in order to have sufficient funds to out pay to new pensioners, is a good move, a Russian move. In the sphere of what is happening.
With all what is happening in the Donbas – a pandemic of syphilis, AIDS, HIV infections, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, tuberculosis, viral pneumonia, I have a feeling that Russia needs territory. Just the land, nothing more.

Olena Stepova,
Translated from Russian by Luba Romanko from original post on Olena Stepova blog
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