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Ex-coach of "Shakhtar": "In Donetsk, people simply cannot think independently!"

Ex-coach of "Shakhtar": "In Donetsk, people simply cannot think independently!"Ex-head coach of the Donetsk "Shakhtar" speaks about the "famine in human hearts."

We called Valery Yaremchenko with the intention to record the interview, but on a completely different topic. At the end our conversation suddenly changed its direction and the Honored Coach of Ukraine started to speak about sore points and painful things... The catastrophe that struck the Donbass, and the "mess" in the minds of his countrymen make Valery suffer day and night.

I do not know how we will go on with our lives... In Kiev people lead normal life. I went to Zaporozhe - people there go to the restaurants. However, some people in Donetsk go there as well, but only soldiers. Donetsk is now empty. The city, however, is clear. There is only one opportunity to find a job - to be street-cleaner. In the evening there is no one in the streets, they all go dashes in order to feel safer.

I have a house and a cottage left there, so sometimes I visit the place. But honestly, I do not want to go there even if I have lived the bulk of my life in the city. It is not my town any more. I see that many people in Donetsk do not want to understand the situation, many people think that Russia will make it a paradise. And some just do not want to admit that they have been deceived. Those who had money and had a place to go – left the city. Those who have no money and work where the work is given to them, stayed. I've met two friends in Donetsk – both of them do not work. Unemployment ... The entire infrastructure, all the factories, businesses – everything has stopped.

You see, there is no money to buy something. Oh ... (He sighs.) All the shops sell in rubles. Is Donetsk the Ukrainian city? Ukrainian. And why is a Russian currency used there? Where are our lawyers?! What other country has a foreign currency in general use? Russian money are circulating there together with Russian products. And people come to the Ukrainian zone in order to buy, they take Ukrainian goods and drive back. Of course, they do it, if they have money. Because mostly – I should say it once again – there remained the ones who do not have money.
Ex-coach of "Shakhtar": "In Donetsk, people simply cannot think independently!"

I met Zvyagintsev (the defender of "Shakhtar" in 1970s, then the inspector Football Federation of Ukraine). He works in the city football federation. I ask: "And what do you do and organize?" "Donetsk Championship" – was the response. One can understand him - he has no other options. At the place where he had a cottage, the troops are stationed. Where should he go? And how we can condemn him?

Now they criticize the players who go to Russia ... You know, I am a patriot of Ukraine. But listen to me. On the one hand, given the war with Russia, one should not go there. On the other hand – take Seleznev, for example. He has two - a maximum of three years - left to play football. Football sportsmen are highly paid people. During these two years, he can earn for 5-10 years in advance, because then, when he loses this profession, his favorite work. If he doesn’t go and will sit for another two years here, he will lose his profession and his earnings.

I have many friends in Moscow and in Russia. They have a very different idea of the Ukraine. I do not know how they won the war (smiles). It is true that the wars were won by all nations, and Ukrainians in particular. A lot of Ukrainians have put their lives for the Victory. The Russians are dead scared, out of their wits. A little dwarf has frightened them at such an extent, that all of them - artists, militaries - are afraid of him. They are convinced that we are doing wrong, warring with the "Russian world".

It is difficult to convince people who are retired and were brought up in the Soviet Union. They think that Russia will give them - no, not money – the youth. They are nostalgic for the old days, and we cannot blame them. People are in such a difficult situation, which put them on the brink of survival.

In Donbass many people are buried, much more than in any other region of Ukraine. People are dying because of the low standard of living, and there are no medicines. They call, we bring some drugs ... I do not say that there is a famine already – no, not yet. Holodomor is in human hearts, do you understand?

A person is granted the happiness by birth and country. Not all were born in the United States. But one can change the country only if you are haunted by some regime. I worked for three years outside the country and felt nostalgic. Nostalgia is a very scary concept when at night you dream home and friends.

I do not advocate to change the country. It is not enough to change Ukraine, I am against treachery of Ukraine. One can bring the changes in the country, but one cannot stupidly betray. It hurts to see people who stupidly betrayed Ukraine, which gave birth to them. Because it is not only the mother who is giving birth - a man is brought up in a society in which he lives.

In Donetsk, I often meet people. They simply cannot think independently! It is horrible, you know? They do not evaluate the situation objectively. And there are crowds of these people. To say that they are enemies is not only wrong, but also criminal. But these people are not able to analyze, are not aware of the true state of affairs.

I wonder why Ukraine is keeping silence?! Why in Donetsk they do not have the Ukrainian television? They created a special Ministry ... Why is it not doing it? Are ordinary people supposed to do it themselves? It is the big question to the President. I am sure that people who are engaged in various "combinations", should not be in power. Businessmen should not be in power. Because their whole business was set up on - how would you say it - clandestine basis. They deceived the people. If you cheated once, twice, three times, then you are not able to stop it. In our leaders I see businessmen, mostly.

Well, so the people have to organize another Maidan? Well, but the politicians could have come to the area, to see how people live. I am sure that 90 percent of the residents of Donbas do not want a regime that is reigning there, but they are afraid to admit it. What sort of people are gathered there? Firstly, those that cannot analyze independently. Secondly, the pensioners. Thirdly, those who have committed certain crimes and are now afraid. These people do not receive information from Ukraine.

What are our lawyers and authorities thinking about? Do they really hope that it will be somehow resolved by itself? Do they think that a little dwarf himself surrenders to the Ukraine? (After a pause). You know, that are the little afraid of? After all, Hitler was little, Napoleon and Stalin - too. They have an inferiority complex! In Russia, in principle, there are two dwarf. But another one, is mostly dancing. Do you know what Putin is afraid of most of all? He knows that no one is afraid of him in Ukraine. That's his biggest nightmare. He knows that here all people hate him and detest him and use his name while bad-mouthing. Therefore, he can only intimidate different nations.

Oleg Babiy, Football 24

Translated by Maria Kryzhanovska

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