An Inside Look at the People’s Republic of Donetsk

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In today’s adventure, Julia Ioffe visits the People’s Republic of Donetsk, aka an 11-story concrete building that used to house the Donetsk city administration:

In the press center, we found four gray, doughy men in post-Soviet polyester and a mint-green leather sectional, but no Claudia. In a minute, she blew in, lanyard with propusk around her neck, juggling cell phones and a note book, and looking every bit the busy, important press secretary of a busy and important country.  

“Sergei will do it,” she said and whirled out the door.

Sergei, a 28-year-old itinerant IT worker with bare feet, looked at Max’s Russian press card and my business card. The latter he found puzzling.

“Where’s the stamp?” he asked, turning it over.

I explained there’s no stamp.

Read the rest if you feel in the need for a bit of comic relief in an otherwise bleak situation.

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WE'LL BE BLUNT

We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

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