Saturday, February 7, 2015

Social Media Becomes Lifeline for Civilians Under Fire in Ukraine

Anti-Putin rally in the center of the southern Ukrainian 
city of Mariupol
Residents Caught Between Army Troops and Russia-Backed Rebels Go Online for Support
As a resurgence in fighting swept eastern Ukraine, 18-year-old Tanya Sukharevskaya signed on to Vkontakte, the Russian variant of Facebook .
An elderly man is helped by a Ukrainian army soldier and 
another man during an evacuation of civilians in Debaltseve, 
in the eastern Donetsk region, on Tuesday. 
Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
It had been six days since she heard from her mother, who had moved 60 miles away from their hometown to the city of Debaltseve for work three months ago. Artillery fire had been killing civilians there again. She tried to call but couldn’t get through. Panic grew.
“I am managing to calm myself down, but my grandma (her mother) and my younger brother (her 6-year-old son) are crying every day,” Ms. Sukharevskaya wrote in a Vkontakte forum called “Overheard in Debaltsevo,” using the Russian spelling common in the region.
A photo posted by Tanya Sukharevskaya on the Russian 
social-network Vkontakte of her and her mother, who 
is in the embattled city of Debaltseve. Photo: Vkontakte
She posted a photo of herself alongside her mother—smiling with a bouquet of roses and a cake—and included all she knew about her recent whereabouts. “I just want to know that everything is OK,” she wrote.
In the midst of the latest violence, online social-networking groups dedicated to specific towns in eastern Ukraine are offering some of the most vivid, real-time glimpses into the conflict’s crushing impact on civilians.
A woman cries in a bus before being evacuated from 
Ukrainian-held Debaltseve on Tuesday due to heavy 
shelling by pro-Russian separatists. 
Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Groups originally created as forums for gossip or casual jokes have been transformed into clearing houses for information, sympathy, political outbursts, opprobrium and support. Each is a constantly changing tapestry of a town’s woes, woven in personal comments that show the surreal nature of a retrograde artillery war in the social-media age.
Read the rest of the story HERE and follow a link to a related story below:

Six Ways to Help Ukraine Resist Russia’s Latest Invasion

If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.

No comments: