Sloviansk, Ukraine, Feb 23 (EFE).- Residents of Sloviansk, a city in eastern Ukraine at the heart of the 2014 conflict between pro-Russian militia and Ukrainians, want to steer clear of another war with Russia.
“People are very fearful, they don’t want another war nor the return of the pro-Russian militia,” deputy mayor of Sloviansk, Yuri Pidlisnyi, tells Efe.
While Ukrainian flags color the city of Sloviansk, the most common language heard is Russian, a representation of the division existing in the city.
“I was born in Sloviansk. My husband served in the Soviet Army all his life and now Putin and the Russians are going to bomb us? Shame on them,” Olga, 70, tells Efe.
Olga is just one of the many local residents who refuse to experience another war between Ukraine and Russia.
“Putin is a senile old man, what have we done to him, he must leave us alone,” Maria says, hardly able to contain her anger.
“We already lived through one war in 2014. We don’t want another one. I don’t want my grand-daughter to see the death and destruction I saw. We in Sloviansk are happy to live in Ukraine. Case closed,” fellow resident, Sveta, says.
“Only crazy people want to fight. Normal people want peace,” says Konstantin, a cab driver who lived in Moscow for 20 years before moving to Sloviansk.
Many young people have left Sloviansk to live in either Russia or Europe, but 20-year-old Lena has decided to stay.
“The youth of Sloviansk is split in two. Some support Putin and others support Volodymir Zelensky,” she tells Efe.
But while some may be pro-Russia and other pro-Ukraine, they all are against another war.
“We are the victims of aggression. They take away part of our territory but nothing is done,” local resident Pidlisniy says. EFE