5th in the series looking at the 5 key points from a non English-language article / event
It’s been announced that a daily train is to run from Yasinovate, by Donesk, to the Russian border, each day, 6.30am, via Donetsk to Kvashino on the Russian border. 5 points from that.
1. A bit of shelling aside, this is now the longest period of sustained calm in Donbass, since hostilities began 18 months ago. A quiet September, a quieter October, and attention is turning to civilian matters rather than military, rebuilding rather than fighting.
2. The DPR continues to break away from Ukraine, while building ties with Russia. A trip to the Russian border sees masses of trucks every time, with almost all products, from supermarket shelves to petrol, coming from, or via, Russia – a trade blockade in force from the Ukrainian side.
3. The train situation has long been a bit unclear in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. A route from Donetsk to Lugansk was meant to start back in March of this year, № 6603, but that didn’t happen. Various reports of trains from, or through Debaltsevo too, but locals there tell me the train station is still closed, and has been for some time. This announcement of a train service seems more official, more … believable than previous. So, let’s wait and see if train transport is indeed ‘back on track’, here.
4. Kiev won’t like it – expect the usual noises from the Kiev authorities about the route’s ‘illegitimacy’, and so on, as happened with the recent announcement of intention to run a service from Lugansk to Rostov, in Russia – still waiting for updates on that one.
5. It’s really been a long time. The last trains departed from Lugansk in May of 2014, from Donetsk in September. I was at Lugansk train station in August of 2014, to find it thoroughly deserted –
So let’s see. There have been a few false dawns, but if this really is train travel starting up in the DLPR, it’s a big deal, and perhaps a platform to push for further economic development, and recovery, of the region.