Ukraine War Day #154: Ukrainians Head South

Dear Readers:

Today I have this interesting piece by reporter Nikolai Storozhenko. By the way, if you click on the link and look at the first photo, the car in the foreground, strapped to the roof of the car, you can see those big carpet-bag type suitcases that I was alluding to in one of my comments, I just couldn’t remember the word although it was on the tip of my tongue. The Russian word is челнок (chelNOK) which means “shuttle”, like a shuttle-bus, for example. This is a beloved Chinese import, made of a soft plaid material, and can hold a ton of stuff. No Russian or Ukrainian worth his/her salt is without one. Especially those on the move.

The classic Russian chelnok: Every traveler has one.

The lede to this story is that Ukrainian are massively migrating to Russian-controlled areas of Kherson and Zaporozhie. And that the Ukrainian officials are not even trying to stop them! The reporter will attempt to explain this odd situation, which has the Westie media (for example Euronews) flummoxed, because it definitely does not meld into their narrative. People are supposed to be fleeing from the brutal Russians, not toward the brutal Russians. (Unless one is a masochist who looks forward to being brutalized.)

In essence, a system has been created, which people call “the Zaporozhie gateway”. Columns of automobiles are lining up to cross through this gateway, travelling in a southbound direction, and by no means are these just people returning to their homes; there are some of those, but most of these people are not even from this area.

This migration started earlier, in the spring, with people crossing over from Ukraine-controlled to Russian-controlled areas. Nobody was particularly paying any attention or regulating this flow. However, by the start of this month (July) Ukrainian military officials started to get their act together, as the flow of travelers increased with every day.

Slavyansky Avto-Rynok in Zaporozhie

The cars are formed into orderly columns in the region of the Zaporozhie “avto-rynok” (auto dealer & repair shop). The article doesn’t say which car dealer it is talking about, there are at least 3 of those things in the city of Zaporozhie. For example, the one called “Slavyansky”, which is shown in the photo to the right, but I don’t know if that’s the one they are talking about. Anyhow, usually, on an average day, three to four columns form up, of around 50 cars each. Only Ukrainian citizens are allowed to pass the checkpoint, At the checkpoint the driver must fill out a form and get the okay before proceeding. Pedestrians may also pass, but they need to hire a driver. Which costs $300-400 American dollars. And this is all official, not bribery or corruption.

Officially these are supposed to be people returning to their homes, if not they have to make up a story for the benefit of the soldiers manning the checkpoint. Like, they are going back to check on their homes or to pick up relatives, etc. In reality, most of these people are simply using this trick to get the heck out of the Ukraine, and they are never going back.

Who are these people, in reality? Mostly, these are men running away from conscription. A male aged 18-60, unless he is a super-patriot, has every reason in the world to flee that country. If he takes the Western route into, say, Poland or Moldavia, then he would have to pay a bribe of $5,000 American dollars, or even higher. And even then, it’s a big risk, and nothing is guaranteed. It’s cheaper and safer to head to Zaporozhie, and from there to Kherson and then to Crimea. Once in Crimea, one might proceed to the EU via Gruzia or the Baltic states. Or, one can just stay put in Russian territory.

The second major category are people simply fleeing from the Ukraine, for reasons other than conscription. And not necessarily political reasons, they might simply feel there is no more future for them. And many of them end up in Russia even though, as holders of Ukrainian passports, they could rightfully feel welcome in any EU country.

Most of the cars are heading Southbound.

It is still a bit of a mystery why the Ukrainians are permitting this, given the avidity with which they are seizing military-age males right off the street and impressing into service. One factor is the cash this brings in: Every car or microbus must pay a tax of $400 American dollars, and the cash is piling up and very welcome to the cash-strapped nation; and it’s all completely legal and legit. This is the main reason why nobody is grabbing the men out of the cars, but rather allowing them to pass through.

It goes without saying that the Westie press is ignoring this phenomenon, because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Their story arc requires terrorized refugees with big eyes to flee from the barbaric atrocity-committing Russians. For this purpose, Westie propagandists are forced to scavenge social media for those rarer anecdotes (“A friend of a friend told me that…”) of people fleeing in the other direction, into the Ukraine. And an old pre-war joke seems strangely apt in these circumstances.

According to the old joke (which requires a bit of Linguistics knowledge), one Ukrainian asks another which is the grammatically correct preposition to use: into Ukraine (в Украину) or into the Ukraine (на Украину), and the correct answer is “out of the Ukraine” (из Украины).

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19 Responses to Ukraine War Day #154: Ukrainians Head South

  1. raccoonburbleca says:

    Or like an old joke we have in Canada. “Will the last person leaving Ukraine please turn out all the lights.”


  2. Montmorency says:

    I wonder if there will be an independent Ukraine at the end of this.
    One thing I’m convinced: Poland, Hungary and Romania will take their respective slices.


    • yalensis says:

      Hi, Montmorency, nobody can predict the future, but there are some signs and portents, if one reads closely and between the lines…
      For example, the Russian Ministry of Defense is putting together a “Ukrainian Brigade” composed of Ukrainians from Nikolaev/Odessa region who want to fight for Russia. It is even said these soldiers will fight under the Ukrainian flag, although I find that hard to believe. (Maybe a modified version of the old Blue & Yellow.)
      Anyhow, what this tells me is that even Putin has finally admitted that there is actually some being called a “Ukrainian”. It seems like many in the Kremlin, or going with the dominant Kremlin ideology, were almost denying that in years past. You saw some Russian patriots saying things like “There is no such thing as a Ukrainian, or an entity called Ukraine, it’s all just Novorossiya,” etc.
      But now I sense a subtle shift in The Force. The notion that such an entity can exist, but on the condition that the two peoples get very chummy again (Great Russians and Little Russians, aka Ukrainians), and never go at each others throats, ever again.

      Maybe it’s too much to ask, but perhaps Putin will even come to see the wisdom (in my view) of Lenin’s overall vision, instead of just dismissing the latter as an anti-Russian who created a completely artificial entity.

      Well, this is a long way of saying that I believe there will be a Ukraine at the end of this war, it will just be shorter and skinnier than it was before!

      Oh, and the Odessa Brigade idea is actually brilliant from another angle as well: With actual citizens from Odessa joining a Resistance and helping to liberate their city, this will help to remove the stain of dishonor which currently rests on that former Hero City, because of you know what…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sacha says:

        Putin is playing also strictly by the rules of the law. He waited the new republics of donbass to be independent and sign a treaty to launch the smo under article 51 of the un charter. He also mentioned several times an independent sovereign Ukrainian state. And to end fully the smo, he needs ideally an international agreement which supposes an independent Ukraine which would admit its defeat and the new borders with Russia. With a legal treaty between Russia and Ukraine, the west will lose its annexation of crimea narrative.

        Liked by 2 people

    • buratino says:

      I will speak to Hungary. The slice is TINY…and it comes with a shitload of baggage. There has been an ongoing genocide(by UN standards) thus the actual Hungarian population is minuscule. Gypsys galore. Hungary would have to ethnically cleanse the place for it to become manageable.

      And once that process starts, it will spread to Hungary proper. Trust me.

      At the point of cynicism I am at, my opinion is, that Hungary does not have that option with the homeland not under control and the state of the army/police/security forces being what it is. Not gonna bore You with the numbers.

      Solutions? Reasonable, fair, kind and democratic?


      The Kosovo model.

      BTW…I believe, that there will remain a ukranian state as a legal entity – mostly to bury the graft and to tie up all the lose ends of the default within. If Putin is as smart as he seems, he will have none of that.


  3. That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

    If there is a legal entity remaining that claims to ‘be’ Ukraine, then the U.S. will demand repayment of the ‘lend-lease’ billions of dollars from it. I am not a lawyer, but my advice would be to let the existing country cease to exist and form a new one as an entirely unrelated entity, debt-free, clean slate.


    • yalensis says:

      That sounds like a good plan!


    • Sacha says:

      The US and the west in general follows the same path as they did with Baltic states, not recognizing their inclusion in the soviet union so they won’t recognize a new (smaller) Ukraine. With the two benefits of keeping the west under control with the excuse of fighting for Ukraine and the second as you mention is to get back it’s money. However we could remind that the British did renegotiated their debt and didn’t pay it fully back


  4. Gareth says:

    You can’t fool me Yalensis, people are returning to occupied territory because the Russians have threatened to shoot Grandma, Grandpa and the dogs and cats if they don’t! It’s so obvious.


  5. buratino says:

    btw, thanx for this.

    Possibility to get out of harms way is – vital…👌


  6. Beluga says:

    Well, very detailed and interesting. Thanks.

    Western news did cover the exodus of civilians from Mariupol and most of them went to the Donbass or Crimea and thence to Russia proper, where 90% supposedly opted to go on to the EU. That was the propaganda coup. You know, these poor Ukrainians from smashed Mariupol got out and, naturally, chose the West. High fives all around from the Madison Avenue propaganda floggers on contract to State.

    How true any of it was and is remains an open question. Since Mariupol had a relatively high ethnic 35% or so Russian speakers, you’d think they’d hold on for the Chechens to arrive and go Russian straight away. The mayor got the hell out to Kiev early, whence he gave updates untainted by any personal knowledge or experience, and excoriated Russia. Yup, leading from the rear and angry with it. What a dope. The Mariupol Ukrainian speakers could see the writing on the wall and left like the mayor, obviously mainly to end up in the EU, I’m guessing. So maybe the Western news story was true, sort of. Anyway, it’s a theory of mine, not a fact.

    This situation you describe today is different from the Mariupol theory. This time a lot of Russian speakers are getting out, because a couple more months of this dragged-out SMO has shown the Russians will look after them, based on decent civilian treatment in the liberated areas of the Donbass. The word gets around, and people are not stupid. They don’t want to be collateral damage in the Russian advance or knocked off by outraged Ukrainians — and who can blame them? Not me.

    But no matter how you cut it up, for the average Ukrainian whether of Ukrainian or Russian origin/ethnicity, it’s a royal pain in the ass to feel you have no option but to get up and leave home. It sucks big time. And if people in the corrupt Ukraine government and the Americans had paid the slightest attention to notions of mutual security and the need to stifle NATO expansion without getting a big kick back in the face for being arseholes, none of this war needed to have happened. People without honour are responsible for this disaster. Just thieving olis who run Western governments and use them as a front for possible business expansion, and who care not one whit about ruined lives in any country, including their own. The usual scourge of the powerful screwing the plebs, and employing PR to lie about it all so they seem like heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Beluga.


    • buratino says:

      I was born in Moscow. Mom Russian, daddio Hungarian. Spent my summer hollydays in Crimea back when – I can not not give more details as to my relatives in ukraine being safe.

      My cousin is for Putin. Military aged. His Mom is against VVP. So is his wife and child. Fucking abortion.

      It is a civil war…fratricide.

      AGAIN…and again…and anew

      Engineered by Nudleman and co.

      There will be a kickback.

      I promise.


  7. buratino says:

    Nothn new under the sun…

    You read this book…you WILL understand. This IS your red pill.


    • yalensis says:

      Anti-Zionists have been around as long as Zionists. So, a hundred years, almost. Various faction fights within the socialist movement, Bundists, anti-Bundists, etc. The Bolsheviks and Communists were opposed to Zionism in principle, as an imperialist project; plus, just another form of toxic Nationalism.
      What I am trying to say is that anti-Semites don’t get to claim a monopoly on anti-Zionism, because that is a socialist “red pill” as well, if you will.


  8. It sounds a bit like The Partition, when India and Pakistan split into two countries after the British set their Indian colony free and millions of Muslims and Hindus decamped to whichever new nation would align with their religious faith. Plus more importantly, where they would not be killed in pogroms for believing in the wrong imaginary doG. That was HUGE, perhaps the largest mass migration in history, with astounding suffering and slaughter along the way. Let’s hope it stays smaller and civilised in Ukraine. And also in the (for-now) United States when it breaks up. Wait for it…


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