Fighting in Donbass was shown in Moscow: "separatist" posters, a doll from a destroyed house

Fighting in Donbass was shown in Moscow: "separatist" posters, a doll from a destroyed house

The exhibition "Donbass-Russia: History and Modernity" is, on the whole, a successful attempt to fit several centuries of Donetsk history into the space of four halls. Despite the heroic tone, it turned out to be more dramatic and painful than patriotic. The correspondent of "MK" visited the Museum of Modern History of Russia.

On a free ticket, which anyone can get at the box office today, it’s completely in vain that the age gradation is not indicated, apparently, it is on the posters and is definitely on the website - and this restriction is only “12+”. But what he actually saw draws on all eighteen with a plus sign. Although it all starts with exclusively ideological and harmless objects.

If we talk about the deployment, then in the main building of the museum on Tverskaya on the third floor they placed the original of the main "separatist" poster - "Donbass is the heart of Russia" in 1921. In the rebellious region, which “seethed” back in the 90s, and almost broke away from Ukraine before our eyes, you need to live your whole life to understand what meaning this simple picture had for the land of miners and metallurgists. A map depicting the logical ways of supplying Donetsk coal across the country, the Black and Azov Seas, and above two miners pushing a trolley with "black gold" - that's all that is drawn on it. But for decades it turned into a fetish, an ideological icon. They don’t pay wages, miners faint at the checkpoint of hunger, the authorities “mothball” mines, there is no hot water, they turn off the light - the answer to all the “nonsense” of the first hungry decade of Ukrainian independence was one: we could be part of the Russian Federation, we are its heart, and we suffer in vain. It was not customary to remember that in the neighboring Rostov government under Yeltsin, coal mining enterprises were closed in exactly the same way, and their workers were starving. But back to the exhibition.

In the first hall, deployed on the 4th floor, pre-revolutionary prehistory is concentrated, leading from March 22, 1764, when Catherine II ordered the formation of the Novorossiysk province.

On banner film stands you can see portraits of great Russian scientists, industrialists and cultural figures who were born or lived in the Donbass: Mendeleev, Dal, Kuindzhi, Khanzhonkov (director and entrepreneur), Savva Mamontov, as well as the British, as they would say today, investor John Yuz, who founded the settlement, which became the prototype of the present Donetsk. Mamontov, who connected the undeveloped lands with the rest of the empire, is mentioned twice - in one of the glass frames there is a stylized old Russian letter of thanks to Savva Ivanovich for completing the construction of the Donetsk railway.

But these are historical crumbs.

The exhibits that owe their appearance to the RSFSR are presented in more detail. This is a “modification” of the above poster, but with the slogan “The heart of Russia is the red Donbass”, which explains the poster in the format of the revolutionary “lubok” by Alexander Apsit not to sit in the cold, but how to get to it - beat the Whites). As well as a portrait of comrade Artem (a party leader and leader of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic within Soviet Russia) and a copy of the ROSTA Windows poster calling for help to Donbass - with a text by Vladimir Mayakovsky. Plus, later visual propaganda - the call “We Mechanize the Donbass” of 1930 embodied in colors and several purely socialist realist statuettes praising workers, model trains and so on.

The next hall is dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. “The enemy will be defeated, victory will be ours!”, “Partisans, beat the enemy without mercy” - military posters now say from the walls. Leaflets printed in underground printing houses appeal to the conscience of police collaborators, while mines, shells and tails of deadly charges silently testify to the horrors of war. But these horrors are separated from the viewer by an epic distance, which makes it possible to consider the comic rhyme "Children in the basement played in the Gestapo, / the plumber Potapov was brutally tortured." Donetsk local historians are well aware of the picture of the mountain of corpses of civilians tortured by the Gestapo in Stalino, but there is a rhyme, and such is the nature of post-traumatic human laughter.

But what awaits visitors after is the frightening reality of Kyiv's armed operation against the DPR and LPR, not yet covered with a museum patina. And if someone is not ready to look at traces of blood on a piece of fabric with the name of the nationalist battalion "Kraken" (perhaps it seemed - but it looks like blood), it is better not to enter the last of the halls. Because behind the shot tubes of grenade launchers, mines "Petal" (a training model was used for visualization), road signs riddled with bullets "Donetsk", signs "Beware of mines", behind a teddy bear found in a house destroyed by shelling, unshed tears and unresolved pain are hidden .

And if the organizers pursued the goal of showing precisely suffering, then the project should have been called “Come and See,” and not as abstractly as it is actually called.

An exhibition about the importance of Donbass in Russia opened in Moscow: project footage

An exhibition about the importance of Donbass in Russia opened in Moscow: project footage

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