news from Donbas: 'We are neither Ukraine, nor Russia' - entrepreneurs rally in militant-held Donbas

16:54 Jul. 19, 2016

'We are neither Ukraine, nor Russia' - entrepreneurs rally in militant-held Donbas

Photo courtesy - Horlivka Media Portal, http://www.0624.com.ua/

Seven most striking quotes cited by protesters in the occupied Horlivka

More than 1,000 local entrepreneurs gathered in front of the self-proclaimed 'administration' building in Horlivka to protest against a tightening of small-sized business terms.

Horlivka is a militant-held city in the Donbas region, controlled by combined Russian-backed forces.

Residents of the occupied city were shocked and angry at a new 'law' seeking to raise taxes, customs clearance tariffs, as well as an inventory of all available goods, including even those items purchased before 2014, for further taxation.

The entrepreneurs' resentment was so strong that they were not afraid to publicly report on their dissatisfaction with the 'authorities' to separatist-controlled media.

Read also Three civilians wounded as militants disperse rally in Donbas - intel

They even remembered how much easier it was to live under the Ukrainian authorities. 

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Photo courtesy - Horlivka Media Portal, www.0624.com.ua

We offer you a selection of the most striking quotes cited by the protesters at the Horlivka rally.

1. We won't be able to work, we will all go bankrupt within a month. Prices for our goods will be crazy. And then people will say: "Businessmen go wild, they set insolently high prices!" When did you buy something in the market last? Will it be like in Moscow? We are against this.

2. What is going on then? Consequently, my business operates at a loss, you know. The very next day, I have no money for paying rent - there is no trade. How will I be able to pay a fine?

3. We already pay everything and everywhere. Now they are imposing new taxes. Doesn't our 'state' want a bit too much? This is the 'state' nobody reconizes. Who and what are we after all? We are neither Ukraine, nor Russia! Is Ukraine bad? How bad is it? Only we are good, aren't we? Why is he (the mayor) holding this position? Who chose him?

Read also Militants allegedly "nationalize" Ukrainian property in occupied Donbas

4. I have to bribe someone to run my business. Is this not corruption? This is genuine corruption! We were part of Ukraine. Correct? We were part of the (Ukrainian) state. We had a single patent. Once a year, we had to report. Once a year! We would pay and get all the documents - everyone was happy. I have nothing more to say.

5. Why is it so? Why do we have to survive here whereas people in the Ukraine-controlled territory live normal lives?

6. They (occupation authorities) want to strip us of everything. We will turn around and go to live there (in the territory controlled by Ukraine).

7. When we go to other areas and want to conclude contracts there, nobody wants to ink agreements with us - we are nobody!

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