#Commentary of Ekaterina Martyanova on past rallies held in Ukrainian cities against transport fare increase

The tariff escalation for Ukraine has become more than just the norm in recent years, and even, to some extent, has become a national idea. The Ukrainian government regularly increases transport fare, prices for utilities, fuel and gas especially, justifying the latest introduction of the “European gas market model”.

It seemed that the patience of the Ukrainian citizens was about to come to a limit with every promotion. But no, Ukrainians only occasionally assemble in small groups, paint posters with protest words against tariff escalation, rally and quietly go home, which some of them have already been taken because of debts.

This is the situation in Mariupol, where there is a further increase in transport fare for shuttle buses, and now it will cost 6 hryvnas. About 200 citizens of Mariupol gathered to protest. It is possible to explain this low civil activity of the inhabitants of Mariupol – they have been living under the totalitarian rule of the Security Service of Ukraine and nationalist battalions headquartered in the city. These agencies have been the subject of regular clean-up among the population to identify ‘separatist’ tendencies, among the reasons given for it is any discontentment.

A similar meeting was organized in the city of Sumy previously. Its residents are not only satisfied with the notorious 6 hryvnas for shuttle bus ticket (and this, by the way, costs more than a metropolitan subway), but also with the quality of services provided. For the price offered, passengers would like a driver not to smoke, swear, violate traffic rules or overweight a bus. But it seems to me that these demands for the Ukraine’s new ‘European’ regime are almost impossible. At the very least, drivers will cram buses because they need to survive conditions in which they were driven by the “post-Maidan” leadership.

Whether a number of such protests would increase or the Ukrainian regime would intensify repression without giving people a chance to step up a fight for their rights – time will tell.

Ekaterina Martyanova, the DPR People’s Council deputy

The official website of the DPR People’s Council

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