Today another post with a Ukrainian thematic, I saw this short piece by reporter Oksana Volgina, from about a week ago, just before Christmas. The piece is subtitled “Sketches of a Ukrainian Passenger”. Volgina’s byline says that she “collected” (and also most likeley summarized/abridged) the material; which she found on a Ukrainian magazine called Odnarodyna, which is not linked, and I can’t find it on google. Hence, I don’t have the original, and that makes my own piece third-hand. Nonetheless, there is some human interest here, and Volgina’s piece is relatively short, so I translate in full. This map shows the 3 cities in question, with Ukrainized names. Lvov (spelled “L’viv” is the far west, close to the Polish border. Kharkov (spelled “Kharkiv” is in the East, not far from the Russian border. Nikolaev (spelled “Mykolaiv” is to the northeast of Odessa, just above Kherson, near the Black Sea.
After numerous propositions, on the part of the Ukrainian government, to do away with all railroad ties (between Ukraine and) Russia, there are very few trains left entering the Russian Federation (from the Ukraine). The publication Odnarodyna published the notes of a Ukrainian passenger about three (remaining) trains uniting these two states. According to the woman (passenger), despite the fact that most trains between the Ukraine and Russia have been cancelled, the residents of “Nezalezhnaya” [Ukrainian word for “Independent”, now used mostly sarcastically] still go to visit their neighbors. And thus she was able to travel on three major routes and to chat with the other passengers.
The Lvov-Moscow Train
Most of the passengers on this one were Western Ukrainians who had already moved to Russian cities to find work (and now live there). [The implication is that they are on a break and visiting their families back in the Ukraine.]
The language the passengers speak depends on the geography: in Mova [Ukrainian for “Ukrainian language”, also sometimes sarcastic] up to the border; then they switch to Russian or Surzhyk (patois). After the  Maidan, these folks left for Russia to find work, because they didn’t want to go to Poland “where all the best jobs are already taken”, nor do they wish to emigrate to other countries. The passengers say, that if this train is cancelled, they will find another way to (get back and forth) — either through Belarus, or on foot, if need be.
The Kharkov-Moscow Train
Judging by the conversations, this train is the most pro-Russian. There are many curses launched in the general direction of the Kiev government, and people express wishes that Donbass wins (the civil war).
The passengers want relations between Russia and the Ukraine to go back to the way they were. Although one does encounter a few Ukrainian patriots, who, for some reason, are travelling to the “aggressor” nation.
The Nikolaev-Moscow Train
In this train, the woman (writer/passenger) was able to meet a passenger who dreams of working in Tomsk and wants to see Kizhi. He is a Ukrainian himself, but he is convinced that this once-united people [Russians and Ukrainians] were specially (artifically) divided (by external forces). It doesn’t matter any more who was right and who was wrong, he remarked. “How many Ukrainians will admit to this, I can’t say,” the author quotes this hero. Meanwhile, the other passengers are pretty sure that Ukrainians will continue to travel to the Russian Federation. “Hence,” the author concludes, “aside from the unrequited maidens [Minister of Infrastructure Volodimir] Omelyan and [President] Poroshenko, the rest of the Ukrainians want to stay with Russia.”