Ukrainian Center for Social and Labor Research have been monitoring media reports of the protests in the separatist-held eastern regions of Ukraine since August 2014. For the moment, 15 protests against Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have been recorded, with the number of protests increased in September as compared to August. This increase may have been caused by a general deterioration of living conditions and people’s dissatisfaction, as well as by less dangers of street mobilization due to less intense fights. The monitors admit problems of media reports reliability under information ware waged right now, but they tried to chose the most reliable source for each event, preferably with photo and video evidence. Researchers conclude: ‘In any case we do not find it surprising that people suffering from lack of basic public services, wage and pension arrears start to put forward their justified demands more often to those, who claim to be their new authorities. On the other hand, this is bad news for Kyiv authorities as well, as they lately showed themselves to Donbass population mostly by shelling, civilian casualties and destruction rather than by organizing and securing basic social functions. Thus, they are not perceived as someone from whom it makes sense to demand anything’.
Here are some examples of the protests:
On August 8, a group of Luhansk citizens came to that city’s state administration with a petition to renew electricity and water supply and to stop shooting on the streets. Nobody showed up from the administration building so the protersters handed in their demands and promised to come back.
In August, dwellers of Zelenyi city district in Makiyivka gathered to demand from DPR militia not to throw fire into Ukrainian military units from their residential area to avoid destructions. Passing to action, people started filling up trenches of the militia themselves, which was registered with a camera.
According media, there was mass spontaneous rally after worship in Alchevsk on August 20th. Locals ask for pro-Russian rebels to leave the city.
On September 22, local people convened in front of Antratsyt to demands wages, pensions and social benefits promised to them. As reported by the participants, the members of militia threatened to shoot them next time and gave out canned foods and grain.
On the 25th of September pensioners of Amvrosiyivka held a mass-meeting to demand payment of their pensions. Representatives of DPR responded proposing them to sue Ukrainian government and promise to pay 1200 hryvnias since October.
On September 26th in Rovenki people demanded for wages, pension, work, functioning of schools etc. But rebel administration didn’t give them concrete answers.
In Pervomaisk people demanded similar things on September 28th.
According local media and Luhansk region Governor Moskal, people gathered in Sverdlovsk on October 4th to demand wages and food supply. Rally was ended with shootout between Russian troops and local pro-Russian rebels.