What You Need To Know:
✅ Conversation amongst Donbas locals is changing towards reconciliation;
✅ Rebel-held East will not survive if it's not reintegrated into Ukraine;
✅ Media plays a critical role in reconciliation process in East Ukraine;
✅ 4 million people could suffer permanently in Donbas.
Marina Chernkova is a volunteer who lives in Donetsk and is head of Responsible Citizen’s Initiative. She says there are some people who left Donbas and are now returning before winter to fix their homes. “The conversation is changing towards reconciliation, towards the future.”
She feels any comparison of Donbas to Transdniestria is not actual as people in Donbas would not be able to survive without being reintegrated into Ukraine.
“I can’t imagine what kind of life would face the more 4 million people who are living in that territory if it is not re-integrated into Ukraine. It is just impossible. This territory will not survive. We do not have the agriculture… we will not be able to feed our people.”
She also believes the media is crucial towards the reintegration process. “The role of media is critical now. Media is responsible for how to manage the hate speakers, to launch the new trend of reconciliation, some peacemaking process… During the last 20 years that were 36 similar conflicts and 34 of them finished with the peace agreement. We can’t just say goodbye Crimea, goodbye Donbas, goodbye to 4 million people, we just can’t afford to do that.”
Marina Chernkova spoke with the Sunday Show's Ian Bateson and Nataliya Gumenyuk on October 4, 2015.