Lugansk: city of roses and fountains, the capital of the self-proclaimed “Republic”

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A few years ago, the Internet was a popular myth that Lugansk does not exist. It was invented in 2011 by the blogger el-gerund, creating a believable fake titled “the Truth about Lugansk.” According to his version, the city was actually invented by Stalinist propagandists, supported by pseudosarcoma and fake documentary information.

A few years later, this fake intricately transformed into life. Now many prefer to think of Lugansk not. But, as before, wrong.

Lugansk, apparently, the only city that dekommunizirovali twice: in 1935 it was renamed in Voroshilovgrad, but in 1958, Voroshilov fell out of favor because of a conflict with Khrushchev and lost the right to be immortalized in the topography. The Voroshilovgrad was returned the historic name. In 1970, after the death of Soviet Marshal of the city again began to carry his name. In 1990, the twists and turns ended, Lugansk, Lugansk was again, but the Marshal did not forget. He stayed in numerous Museum exhibitions and the monument – opposite the town hall, which has always been a symbol of the city and is depicted on the magnets and calendars.

Луганск: От города роз и фонтанов до "столицы" самопровозглашенной "республики"

Monument Klim Voroshilov in Luhansk

Few people know, but the first coins of independent Ukraine was published in the Luhansk cartridge plant. It was 10, 25, 50 kopeck coins and onegreeneye of brass, and “kopeck piece” of aluminum. The plant as a state enterprise was liquidated in 1998, then moved into private hands and gradually began to accumulate debts. In 2014, he was captured by militants, and what is happening there now, is not known. Separatist publications claim that the company operates and for the year produced about 10 million rounds, according to other information – the plant was dismantled and taken to Russia.

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In 1991, half a million of the population of Luhansk 18 thousand people worked at the factory “Luganskteplovoz”. The company was a monopoly, providing 95% of the needs of the USSR, monthly releasing 110-120 locomotives and earning about a billion dollars. In the early 90-ies the plant continued to operate, but at reduced working hours, wages delayed or were given vodka. In 2007 the plant was sold to the Russian company “Transmashholding”. August 4, 2014 the company stopped production because of the destruction from the fire substation. It was the second stop of the plant, before it has happened only in 1942, when Lugansk was occupied by troops of the Third Reich. The network has information that the plant is re-registered in the city, and he works according to the schedule of three-day weeks. In General, the information around the enterprise contradictory: someone writes about mass redundancies and export capacity in the Russian Bryansk and other sources (pre-emptive official) argue that the plant is working successfully supplying products for customers from Russia.

Луганск: От города роз и фонтанов до "столицы" самопровозглашенной "республики"

In the workshop of the company after the shelling, 2014

The concept of the center of the city to Lugansk apply a stretch. In fact, their town always had two: a common centre, where the main administrative buildings and shops, public events are held, and the old city area with great tourism potential, which failed to disclose. The building of the late 19th and early 20th century preserved on the streets of Lenin, Marx, Dahl, Zip is a small area, you can walk around for hours. In 2013, the municipality planned to reconstruct the old center, which never came to be, and in the summer of 2014 the building of former city Duma, which in the years of independence housed the Museum of city history, came under shelling. In February 2016, the Museum was reopened after renovation.

Saying “going downtown”, Luhansk, however, do not mean the old town, mainly the square of the heroes of the second world war and the Theatre square. Here from time immemorial celebrated the holidays, on dates, talking speech.

Луганск: От города роз и фонтанов до "столицы" самопровозглашенной "республики"

View of the center of Lugansk in the 90-ies

Square of the heroes of the second world war are popularly called “Durakovo”: according to one version, previously, there was a Bazaar, where usually the weight wrong, that is, people fooled. Visitors were often taken to watch for the Scythian women, in the yard LNU. Shevchenko captured British tanks during the First world warnear the Museum. New attractions for 25 years does not appear, but the self-proclaimed “LNR” began to set their sights. Near the garden of Remembrance there was a 6-meter high monument called “Defenders of the Republic.” It consists of the contour of the Luhansk region, against which the figures are, “symbolizing the militiamen, Cossacks and paratroopers”. In social networks, meanwhile it is called “Three terrorists and a hostage”. On the Defense now stands a stele of memory of victims on 2 June, and near the theatre the monument to the fallen paratroopers LC” in the form of a BMP on a pedestal.

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In Soviet times Lugansk was called the city of roses and fountains. The last was about 30, among them – very impressive specimens. In the 90s for the maintenance of the fountains of money was not enough and many have dried up forever. Left a few modest sources in the centre of the city, which collect water in the summer of 2014, when the centralized water supply did not work because of the attacks. Now there are 5 fountains, but not all day and by the hour.

Луганск: От города роз и фонтанов до "столицы" самопровозглашенной "республики"

In the 80s Lugansk was still the city of roses and fountains

For a long time the epicenter of the activity and the most popular shopping destination of Luhansk was the Central market, and the main pathos of Department store “Russia” looked more like a Museum, which came from the suburbs to ride the escalator. In the two thousandth, one by one, began to appear in supermarkets and shopping malls. However, the markets have not passed their positions and during the ATO was again held in high esteem, they sold and bought everything. In the summer of 2015, when active hostilities had already forgotten, TTS resumed work, but the popularity of the former it is far. Soaring prices scared off most people, and now they are a bit.

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The similarity of the modern Lugansk and Lugansk 90s is obvious: the same cost, “wild capitalism” and rampant banditry. The difference is that at the dawn of independence the situation was similar in many Ukrainian cities, and now Lugansk cut off from the “mainland” where the streets are lit all night, in stores plenty of goods, and to see relatives, do not need to pass through the roadblocks and checkpoints. This does not mean that the city itself is dead. He is alive, but this life is like a demo version with a set the most basic functions. Many witnesses of the events of the summer of 2014 and lack of it, and even young people gradually “grows” in uncomplicated existence without any prospects. Now the city has around 340 thousand.

Despite the fact that Lugansk fired for almost 2 years, he’s stuck somewhere “between”. There still remember that in August, Ukraine’s Independence Day, but that’s confusing, what number.


Eugene Wicket