Donbas Reality Check: How Locals Make a Living in Frontline Ukraine
3 November, 2019

For over 10 years Nataliya and Serhiy have been growing raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and other fruit and berries. They live in the village of Makarove near Stanytsia Luhanska in the Luhansk region. The farm accounts for most of their earnings, and it is their favorite business. They sell their products in Luhansk, which is now controlled by the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic”.

Due to the fact that the berries are not included in the list of authorized goods for transportation through the checkpoint, every time Nataliya and Serhiy go to the crossing, they are unsure as to what they will hear from the Ukrainian fiscal and border guards.

However, on October 8 Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories, IDPs and veterans Oksana Kolyada announced that work on a new decree that would list the banned goods – as opposed to allowable ones – has begun. Berries, including raspberries, are expected to be given the green light. But this does not solve other problems people moving across the checkpoints have to encounter on a daily basis ...   

In this episode, Hromadske tells about the economic blockade of Donbas through a story of one particular family.

Donbas: Reality Check is a Hromadske project that compares politicians' statements about the Donbas with the reality of the region and the problems of the people who live there.