For many outside observers and analysts, Ukraine is “two countries” – east and west – and the two are supposedly hopelessly divided, both culturally and linguistically. This exaggerated view tends to divide the country into halves, with the east and south solidly pro-Russian and Russian-speaking, and the rest westward-looking and Ukrainophone. In fact, the areas inhabited by militantly pro-Russian separatists are confined to the extreme southeast (inside the areas now controlled by separatist rebels), and perhaps in Crimea, annexed by Russia in March 2014. The rest of Ukraine’s population is mostly content to be considered “Ukrainian,” and would no sooner take up arms against Kyiv in support of Putin than would people living in Lithuania.
But what is inescapable for foreigners from Western countries visiting Ukraine is the extent to which pro-Western Ukrainians view their compatriots in the separatist territories with disdain – not just for the war, but for habits, style and way of life. Many examples of Westernizing Ukrainians’ mockery of their Russophile fellow countrymen from the Donbas – particularly the two main cities of Donetsk and Luhansk (‘Lugansk’ in Russian) – can be found on the Internet. The Russophile Ukrainians and ethnic Russians of the Donbas are “rednecks” or “hicks,” and many Kyivans, for example, will describe them as grotesque, unfathomable, and more trouble than they are worth.
Here is one from the Ukrainian Glavpost.com website profiling the “women of the terrorists.” For foreigners, this article – even more than profiling eastern Ukrainians themselves – illustrates the way western-leaning Ukrainians view them.
The Terrorists of the Donbas: They’re not just men with guns, but women too!
As the militants receive support from wives who carry food to the checkpoints, so they receive even more from young and middle-aged militant friends who come to the occupied buildings.
Someone from the women sincerely believes in the ideals of the self-proclaimed republics, like the wife of the so-called Governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Yekaterina Gubareva, who occupies a post in the self-proclaimed government and is trying to get a plot of land.
podrobnosti.ua chose the brightest girls of the Donbas terrorists. Read the stories of the careers of five local celebrities.
Pyaterikova: She scolds Europe and does the striptease
The best known friend of the terrorists – Anastasia Pyaterikova – began her career in the [Progressive Socialist] party of Natalia Vitrenko.
After the Luhansk party cell quarreled with the chairwoman, Pyaterikova and her colleague Alexander Kharitonov broke out in an independent organization, the “Lugansk Guard,” which later became the nucleus of the separatist movement of Luhansk region.
It is the guards who first put up a tent city in Luhansk. They also seized the regional administration building. However, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) soon came for Kharitonov, and he was arrested and put in a detention center in Kyiv.
Anastasia Pyaterikova became frightened and ran away to Voronezh, Russia. There, she successfully gave interviews to Russian channels, talking about the atrocities of Ukrainian army soldiers and the killers from Kyiv.
With the help of sponsors in Voronezh, this friend of the terrorists organized the supply of weapons, food, uniforms and all the things that are still used by the self-proclaimed representatives of the Lugansk People’s Republic.
But in peacetime, Pyaterikova worked in area nightclubs.
Anastasia’s career was swift: in March 2014, she was broadcast during the daytime from the stage of Antimaidan in Lugansk, urging pensioners to reclaim the country and abandon the corrupt values of Europe.
And at night she went to work at a strip club, where she rendered services of an intimate nature, including to foreigners. This was the main job of Pyaterikova up to her escape to Voronezh.
Now this keeper of morals is the director of the “Tricolor” society, which raises money in Russia, buys weapons and goods there, and brings them to Luhansk – straight to the terrorists in the seized administration building and SBU.
“Koshkina”: Communist calendar girl
Another promoter of the idea of the “Russian Spring” in the Donbass is Yevgenia Borovenskaya, who took the nickname “Koshkina” (‘Cat’). In politics, she came up through the Communist Party of Petro Symonenko.
Already at the beginning of her political career, Koshkina became famous thanks to the calendar issued for May Day. On the pages of the glossy calendar, Koshkina posed in the buff, covering her body with a banner with the words “loyal to the people.”
That photo has not been preserved on the Internet, but there are others – for example, against the backdrop of a waterfall.
After an incident in which the head of the Luhansk cell of the Communist Party and Koshkina’s lover, Maxim Chalenko, was caught drunk behind the wheel of his car in the presence of girls of easy virtue, Koshkina became disappointed in the ideology of the Communist Party and went over to the separatists.
Yevgenia regularly attended all meetings and rallies, seizures of buildings and attacks on border units. When one company after another began to shut down in Luhansk, and the owners of the businesses fled Luhansk, Koshkina realized that to be a separate republic is not so easy, and she began to beg for help.
But even in spite of all the difficulties, Yevgenia continues to help the terrorists, collecting signatures for petitions on her page on the social network Vkontakte, participating in roundtables organized by the self-appointed governor of Luhansk region, Valery Bolotov. In short, he will not retreat from her position. However, her image has changed a little.
Gubareva: wife and foreign minister
Yekaterina Gubareva, wife of self-proclaimed Governor Pavel Gubarev and appointed by him to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, also has a rich portfolio.
Previously, Kate worked in the Patison nightclub in Donetsk. She was an artist and yoga instructor, famous for her photographs on foreign beaches.
Appearing in the office of the pseudo-ministry, Gubareva demanded that deputies of the Donetsk regional council allocate land to her for the construction of a house and for farming. However, members of this initiative were not happy with this initiative and refused the land.
Gubareva readily gives interviews about the atrocities of Kyiv, convinced in comparison with the Maidan, the war in Donetsk is peace and tranquility.
“It is no longer believable that the Kyiv government is trying to calm us down. We just want to live in peace and well-being,” says the wife of Pavel Gubarev wife, on whose conscience lie the lives of dozens of soldiers and peaceful civilians in Donetsk.
As expected of a combat girlfriend, Yekaterina accompanies her husband on meetings and records video messages. She loves to pose with guns.
Shumakova: journalist with a Russian passport
28-year-old Inga Shumakova never hides her position in relation to the terrorists. Being a journalist Luhansk channel “LOT,” Shumakova prepared stories in defense of “Berkut” on the Maidan. [‘Berkut’ – or ‘Golden Eagle’ – was the name of the unit of riot police in Ukraine that attempted to suppress the Maidan uprising in late 2013 and early 2014, and which was abolished after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych. – Ed.]
During the period when the separatists were becoming active in Luhansk, Shumakova began regularly attending meetings and the seizures of buildings, showing members of the local militia her Russian passport, and never forgetting to cover events in a positive light for the terrorists.
Inga works closely with Alexander Tkachenko, deputy mayor of Luhansk, and also loves the noisy company of bikers. Recently, bloggers declared that the shooting down an Ilyushin-76 over Luhansk was her fault.
After all, the journalist has tried to post to Facebook the conversations of the pilots of all aircraft flying over the city. She says that she ostensibly listened to everything at home.
After the scandal with the downed aircraft, Shumakova clearly expressed her political position.
“I am not a vatnik, a terrorist or a separatist. My position is known to all my friends. I am against joining Russia, but I am in favor of removing the current government in Kyiv, which has led the country to civil war,” Shumakova has written in Facebook.
Shkoda: Medvedchuk and narcobusiness
A hater of Ukraine and admirer of Alexander Dugin’s “Eurasianism” ideas, Oksana Shkoda had time to visit the war of Russia against Georgia. There, Oksana gathered documents for Moscow like an expert, trying to accuse Saakashvili of genocide.
The former press secretary of Natalia Vitrenko has recently worked in the “Ukrainian Choice” party of Viktor Medvedchuk, although in an interview she denied that she was his assistant, and considers herself a victim of political conflicts.
“The fact is that there is now a massive campaign to discredit Medvedchuk. Shortly before that, the eyes of opponents fell on me,” says Oksana.
She actively supports the separatists, is photographed with the leader of the Donbas terrorists, Igor Girkin, and gives press conferences in Moscow demanding the entry of Russian troops to the territory of Ukraine.
But earlier, Oksana Shkoda, who now writes articles in various publications, served five years in prison for drug trafficking.