Unlikely

donetsk flags

Flags in Donetsk: Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic

Some journalists get kidnapped by insurgents at road checkpoints in East Ukraine. Some get guns put to their heads. I get an offer of marriage.

46-year old Grisha from the unrecognised republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Afghan veteran, ‘level 3’ (a scrappy badge and a lot of stamped pieces of paper) in the mysterious hierarchy of the Donetsk people’s militia, assured me that his offer was worth considering: ‘just like not all Donbas militants are bandits and terrorists, so not all men are bastards.’ Not entirely persuasive…

Picturing a life together with Grisha in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (‘We are against the seizure of power by oligarchs, extremists, paedophiles and homosexuals!’), I did wonder if I’d get to leave that checkpoint. but Grisha and his friends waved me off happily enough, after a cup of tea.

Our getaway car? painted in the colours of the Donetsk People's Republic

Our getaway car? painted in the colours of Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic

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