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Appearance and Reality in Kiev-Controlled Artemovsk

If everyone is so patriotic, why do so many want to leave?

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Correspondent Graham Phillips has posted a few telling photos on his blog which were sent to him from Artemovsk in Ukraine. Artemovsk is located in the part of Donbass which initially was controlled by the Donetsk People's Republic, but was "liberated" by Kiev government troops.

These photos show one of the most visible facets of life in today's Ukraine: the ever-present war propaganda in all sectors of public life and a constantly maintained false state of alert about a "Russian invasion."

Yet, they also display a stark contrast between appearance and reality in Ukraine. Judging from the streets, there would appear to be a very high level of Ukrainian patriotism, with half the city painted in blue and gold (standard for all of Ukraine nowadays), but a closer look reveals a different picture...

Ukrainian army propaganda: "Dignity, Will, and Victory"


Men in uniform are to be seen everywhere...

Artemovsk (1)

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As are the Ukrainian national colors...

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  The banner reads:   "Donbass is Ukraine!"

Artemovsk (7)

A Ukrainian post office

Artemovsk (8)

A mini-bus or "marshrutka"

Artemovsk (12)

A Ukrainian Post vehicle

Artemovsk (29)

The Ukrainian flag is ubiquitous...

Artemovsk (30)


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Artemovsk (34)

Ads for transport to Rostov, Moscow, Petersburg, Krasnodar, and Voronezh -- all in Russia.

Artemovsk (35)

...More of the same

Artemovsk (18)

Hmm.. Odessa, Krasnodar, Petersburg and Moscow. The last 3 cities are in Russia. A call to the phone number confirmed it was for transport. Well at least it's in Ukrainian colors!

Artemovsk (27)

Ukraine reduced to a single photo: a super-patriotic veneer belies people trying to escape a shattered economy -- even by moving to the "aggressor state" of Russia

Whatever the civilian population of Artemovsk thinks of the war, one thing is clear: not everything about life in post-Maidan Ukraine is how it is portrayed in Western media.

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