Those who watch “incorrect” movies or listen to “incorrect” music continue to receive threats in Ukraine.
Female ATO soldier Yarina Chernoguz was the center of a scandal on a bus because of a Russian TV series. As a result, the bus driver started to be harassed by “C14” nationalists, and the carrier company did not support its employee in any way.
The Ukrainian “Strana” news agency parsed this story and remembered about similar cases when ATO soldiers caused scandals in buses.
“Russian should not be heard in Ukraine” – What happened on the Lutsk-Kiev bus
As Chernoguz said on her Facebook page, on a bus she demanded from the driver to turn off a TV series that was in the Russian language.
The rationale was extremely interesting. To paraphrase: she recently returned from the war zone, from February she will go there again, and she is “disgusted all night listening to the TV products of the occupiers.”
The driver suggested that other passengers express their opinion, but they were against the idea of turning off the series. And someone said they didn’t care what language movies are in.
“Some woman who was driving back from Italy started harassing us, she said doesn’t care what language we speak, and that we are murderers, that we go to war but she didn’t send us there. The others on the bus just kept quiet. The mention that I am returning from the funeral of the guy/soldier who died protecting their ability to move freely on the unoccupied roads of Ukraine was met with the silence of guilty eyes,” wrote Chernoguz.
As a result of the conflict, the ATO soldier and her friend Anastasiya decided to get off the bus on the road. They hitch-hiked to the nearest town and boarded another bus.
In the video the phrase of one of the girls who started the dispute can be heard: “Russian should not be heard at all in Ukraine”. It is interesting that Yarina does not mention this phrase in her description.
Chernoguz asked followers to share her post and find the driver’s personal information “so that he could find the glory due to him for his act”. She also demanded from the carrier company a refund for the ticket and an explanation as to why on her journey “there are drivers who allow themselves to humiliate clients so much and not respect their rights”.
Later Yarina reported that the driver can expect a “warm welcome” in Kiev.
Radicals from “С14” became involved. The coordinator of the organisation Sergey Mazur posted a photo with a crowd of people who waited for the arrival of the bus with the driver who offended the volunteer.
They didn’t catch up with the driver – according to Chernoguz, he chose to bypass the bus station. She also thanked everyone who came to meet her and noted that she and Anastasiya themselves demanded to let them off the bus.
Sergey Mazur also wrote that the driver did not arrive and the passengers who were supposed to get on the bus did not wait for him. He also threatened that “the glory of his hero will still catch up with him”.
Meanwhile, the carrier company wrote a post apologising for the incident on its Facebook page. They also noted that drivers on the road are allegedly given flash drives with Ukrainian films on them.
In general, the carrier did not stand up for its employee, and completely sided with the girl who caused a scandal on the bus.
The nationalist threats made to its driver were also not commented on by the company – as if it were normal.
“We only learned about the situation that arose on the bus, and to put it mildly we are shocked by the act of the driver. Firstly, the administration issues flash drives with Ukrainian films to each bus, so we now do not understand how a Russian-language film appeared on the bus screen. Secondly, what struck us most was the reaction of the driver, who refused to turn it off at the girl’s request. We want to apologise for the unacceptable behaviour of the firm’s employee. Our position is clear: such situations are shameful and should not be repeated in the future,” the post reads.
Fares and pop music – Other clashes on buses
Similar conflicts have occurred more than once. Thus, last year the driver of the route “Kremenets-Chernovtsi” refused to turn off Russian music at the request of a passenger. The woman who asked him to do so faced driver-passenger aggression.
After a request to turn off the Russian pop music, the driver of the bus asked the passengers “does the music bother you?”. As it turned out, everyone was happy with the music. When the woman noted that it is inappropriate to admire Russian music while Ukraine is fighting the Russian Federation, she was asked “not to ruin the festive occasion” (it happened on the eve of Easter). One passenger also said: “Woman, it’s already during the holiday, we cannot fight”. Other passengers advised the woman to wear headphones or transfer to another bus.
Most conflicts are related to the fact that ATO soldiers have the right not to pay for travel via urban transport, which does not apply to private buses.
Thus, in 2018 in Zhytomyr there was a conflict between a “Emilchino – Zhytomyr” bus driver and a veteran of the ATO, as the driver did not want to transport the former serviceman free of charge via a certificate of a participant of combat.
As a result, the man agreed to pay for the trip, but he was not given a ticket. “The Emilchino-Zhytomyr bus, boarding in Novograd-Volyn on a green at 6 am, using a combat certificate, refused to accept, I paid and asked to issue a ticket, in response he gave an unintelligible piece of paper,” said Vitaly Kravchenko. When the bus arrived in Zhytomyr, the driver refused to issue a ticket. At the same time, he stated that there was no stop where the veteran ATO got on the bus.
In June 2018, a bus driver in Zaporozhye refused a ATO soldier’s preferential pass, calling him a “freeloaded playing war”. In the video published online, the ATO soldier responds to the refusal calmly, and the driver continues to shout that “in 1943-1945 the country had already been liberated, and you in four years cannot even take two f*cking towns”. Later it became known that this bus driver had been fired.
In the same year, in Chernovtsi, a participant of hostilities in the ATO zone was thrown off a bus. “I showed my pass to the bus driver, and he immediately aggressively said: ‘I will not take you’. And he was firmly escorted out by the shoulder to the street,” said the veteran of ATO Nikolay Viconian. The man called the police, but the driver of the bus was rude to the inspectors. In addition, he refused to give an explanation.
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