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The prophecies of the elder Zosima, the Russian hero and the torture cellars of the SBU. What is happening in the Donbass

From the outside, one might think that the Iberian temple does not work from the bombing and destruction.  Wrong.  There is a service going on.

From the outside, one might think that the Iberian temple does not work from the bombing and destruction. Wrong. There is a service going on.

A photo: Roman GOLOVANOV

THE ROAD IS ALREADY THE HIGHEST CLASS

When you enter the Donbass land, your heart skips a beat. You returned home. We rush along the road to Mariupol. Dawn spreads over the endless fields outside the window. The demining service works on the roadsides. Harvest. You can’t start the sowing campaign without sappers. By the way, the road to Marik is top class. Asphalt was laid in the best Moscow style. No Europe even dreamed of. Ukraine was flooded with money to bring roads up to the European level. But everything happened in Ukrainian traditions – the money was stolen, and the war will write everything off.

Mariupol meets with the dead – high-rise buildings. Burnt. The crippled. Crushed from artillery duels. The further, the worse. The first floors break the heart with inscriptions: “There are children here! Lord save and have mercy!” or “They live here.” On the stalls and shops hang ads: “There is an owner.” The memory of hunger and horror that people endured here hangs in the air. The very center is Mira Avenue. Only there was no peace here … But nothing. We will rebuild the martyr city. A gigantic line of trucks with Russian numbers goes back and forth. Excavators demolish buildings that cannot be restored. New ones will be built in their place.

We remove the city center from the copter. A peasant comes up and asks: “Guys, you can fly in through that window. There is my apartment. See what’s there. You can’t go in.” We fly a drone into a broken window. There is no apartment. Barriers destroyed. The man nodded his head, thanked him and left. From another window, a burnt icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh is looking at us. We crossed ourselves.

A photo: Roman GOLOVANOV

HOW THEY TORTURED IN THE BASEMENTS OF THE SBU

We drove into the former building of the SBU. Damned place. It oozes coldness from him. Gloom. We are met by Father Feofan. Under the Ukrainian authorities, he was taken hostage for his connection with the Russians. They handcuffed me so tightly that my hands still feel nothing. They beat me for hours. With him we go down to the dark basement. Former shooting range.

“They tied me to this chair,” the priest says casually. – They flooded with water, strangled, shot overhead from afar. You’ll be lucky – you’ll survive. They beat me with this heavy drill. So that the meat moved away from the bones. One of my friends was left disabled after that. They took for Russian books. For Russian numbers in the phone. They didn’t stand on ceremony. Someone snitched, and they accept you.

– Father Feofan, why did it all happen? I ask.

– Our disease is “hataskraynichestvo”. Doesn’t concern me. I will not fly. In the end, everyone was covered.

Yes, we have something to think about in the rear. Learn from the mistakes of others, our “hataskrayniks”. Not far from the SBU building, their cub is the Azov base. Animals were prepared here under the auspices of the special services. There was a pagan temple on the territory. “Azov” sacrificed to evil spirits. When the Orthodox army arrived, the temple was burned down. There is no point in soiling the Russian land with devilry.

You get to Azovstal via the bridge. There are scattered burnt and torn up cars. Broken technique. Here is the tank that they did not manage to take away. At the entrance to the enterprise there is a huge sign: “Caution! Mines! Three and a half months of fighting and shelling. Something constantly explodes and bangs. It’s hard to imagine how long it will take to clear it.

The impression is gloomy. Oppressive. But put aside decadence. The city is Russian. We’re not going anywhere from here. The port is already running. Technique plows. In a few years there will be no trace of the war. Only these archival photos and the museum of atrocities of the SBU.

You can't stay in one place for a long time.  American satellites and Turkish drones calculate the target quickly and Ukrainian artillery begins to work on it.  And the target is you.

You can’t stay in one place for a long time. American satellites and Turkish drones calculate the target quickly and Ukrainian artillery begins to work on it. And the target is you.

A photo: Roman GOLOVANOV

REVENGE, SCARTERS

And we turn to Donetsk. There are frontline soldiers waiting for us. Who would have thought that you would feel safer in Mariupol than in the center of Donetsk?

At first glance, a typical Russian city. Cars are waiting at traffic lights green light. People are walking along the sidewalks. Lights are on in the windows. Not boiling, but there is a measured life. And then there were peals from artillery strikes. From the side of the not yet liberated Avdiivka, they are attacking the city. In response, our air defense works. They take revenge, bastards, that they are being dismantled in the Donetsk direction.

The big problem in Donetsk is that there is no water. You pull the tap back and forth: deaf. For understanding. Try to give up at least a day from the water in the apartment. Take a full bath. Here is the entire stock. Wash the dishes, wash the children, go, excuse me, to the toilet.

– Tomorrow they promise to give water, we will wash ourselves, – one of the guests of our hotel reassures.

A photo: Roman GOLOVANOV

DIRECT FIRE ON CHILDREN

When walking around Donetsk, you always look under your feet. You go only on asphalt, not stepping on the lawn. Somewhere else there were mines scattered by Ukrainian artillery – “petals”. If you step on – say goodbye to your ankle-deep foot. By the way, when you return from the Donbass, the local habit of moving carefully is preserved for at least another day.

Children often mistook the “petals” for a toy and blew themselves up on them. Alley of Angels – children who died in Donbass – is not discussed at a UN meeting. After all, these are the wrong children who can be maimed and killed. Here I was told a painfully familiar story:

“In Moscow, a boy Roman and his mother Tatyana are in the hospital. They are from the liberated territory. Dills hit them with direct fire in the summer. Tatyana said that she saw how the Vushniks rolled out a cannon, aimed. And this is the private sector. The children ran around the house, the women on the benches chattered. Roma’s arm was completely torn off. By the grace of God, they had an operation, they put everything back together, then there was another transplantation of soft tissues, and then skin … Roma’s lens fell out of one eye from the explosion and part of the protein leaked out. There will be another operation on the eyes …. “

A photo: Roman GOLOVANOV

PROPHECY OF OLD ZOSIMUS

At dawn we leave towards the legendary and long-suffering Donetsk airport. There stands the Iversky monastery-martyr of the Donbass elder Zosima Sokur. Batiushka predicted the return of the Nazis back in the 90s: “When I die, bury me deeper so that the Bandera people don’t dig up.” They thought the old man was blessed. It turned out to prophesy our current life. We enter the “grey zone” by bus. There is always something bangs and whistles overhead. The shelling doesn’t stop for a second.

– It is necessary to put on protective equipment, – the escort officer gives the command. We got the helmets. Put on armor. And next to us is a grandmother in a padded jacket. No armor and helmets. Here is her house. She is not going to drop it.

From the outside, one might think that the Iberian temple does not work from the bombing and destruction. Wrong. There is a service going on. Some people even came to pray. Here you understand everything about the metaphysics of this conflict. The West put Ukraine not against Russia, but against God. Possessed shakes from Orthodox churches. Shriveling from the return of holy Rus’. Sold birthright…

RUSSIAN HERO

… You can’t stay in one place for a long time. American satellites and Turkish drones calculate the target quickly and Ukrainian artillery begins to work on it. And the target is you. We drive closer to the Donetsk airport. We jump out of the car with political scientist Sergei Mikheev. We came with him to shoot a film and comprehend this war. Let’s go to the shooting point. And then 150 meters from us arrival. Something 155 caliber. Arta. Is it a coincidence. Whether they spotted. It doesn’t matter anymore. We fly into the bus. Gas to the floor We are moving to the base of the battalion “Rus”. Sands are in their area of ​​responsibility.

– Guys, take off your armor, let’s go drink tea, – the battalion commander of “Rus”, a lieutenant colonel with the call sign “Abkhaz” meets us. Great Russian hero. Smiling and kind. Outside, the ground is shaking. And next to our soldiers it is quiet and calm. Peaceful as ever. All worries are dissolved in their composure and confidence. Most of them are volunteers.

Here, in addition to the barracks, armory and canteen, a temple was built on the front line. Small room for prayer. Military priest Roman Zayats gathered us and the fighters for a prayer service. Each soldier has a candle in his hand. We pray for the living and the dead. We pray for our victory. This is the immortal regiment. When the spiritually alive and the dead stand in one formation.

“We will definitely win, there is no other option,” the battalion commander says after the prayer. You believe him. And again you are filled with calmness.

Military priest Roman Zayats gathered us and the fighters for a prayer service.

Military priest Roman Zayats gathered us and the fighters for a prayer service.

A photo: Roman GOLOVANOV

MUSIC IS STRONGER THAN GUNS

A little later, violinist Pyotr Lundstrem, native to the fighters, arrived at the disposal. He brought his musician friends who were on the front lines for the first time. And Peter himself is a regular guest here. Not even a guest, my own. We gather with the fighters in the largest room. Lundstrom plays Bach. Something incredible is happening. Mystical. Unreal. Prayer and music cover the roar of Ukrainian art. Everyone thickens, no one twitches or boils.

At sunset we left Donetsk towards Rostov. The city saw off with cannon roars. Live, dear Donetsk. You will definitely win. You earned this victory.

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