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23 Jul. 2023

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Ukraine's western rear: how Uzhhorod lived during the war

Krieg
Der Weg zum Sieg
Ukraine
Ukraine's western rear: how Uzhhorod lived during the war

Transcarpathia is the only region of Ukraine where there is no curfew today. Since the beginning of the war, Uzhhorod has hosted thousands of IDPs and continues to provide shelter to Ukrainians. Here's how the city lives today

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Zakarpattia has become a place of peace and strength for thousands of Ukrainians, as it is the only region of Ukraine where there is no curfew during the war, and russian missiles have only come here once, in the spring of 2022. However, the regional center of Ukraine, which is farthest from the front, cannot stay away from the war. 

How has Uzhhorod changed in almost 1.5 years of full-scale invasion? How does the city live today? Find out in our new article.


What is the secret of Uzhhorod's peace?


Fans of secret conspiracy theories say that the reason for the absence of missile attacks on Zakarpattia is an agreement between Orban and putin. However, Zakarpattia residents themselves believe that the reason is the lack of strategic enterprises and facilities in the region, the mountainous landscape, and the proximity to several EU and NATO member states. 


How have IDPs changed the life of Zakarpattia?


Prices on the Zakarpattia real estate market have significantly outpaced those in the capital since the start of the full-scale invasion, as wealthy Ukrainians are willing to pay more for renting property in one of the safest regions of Ukraine. 

The demand for real estate in Uzhhorod is enormous. Previously, local entrepreneurs invested in new buildings, but there was little demand for them. Now there are almost no vacant properties left on the real estate market in Zakarpattia. 

Prices in the menus of most restaurants in Uzhhorod have risen significantly. Demand for the more expensive segment has increased. 

Kyiv residents also brought a new service to Uzhhorod. Quite a few businesses relocated to Transcarpathia. There is a breath of new competition in the service sector, the real estate market, and the restaurant business. 


The friction between Transcarpathians and immigrants


Conflicts between Ukrainians still occur, especially in small towns. However, locals say that those who have lived in Zakarpattia for at least 3 days automatically become Zakarpattians. For their part, Zakarpattia residents absorb something new from the immigrants. There is a mental crossbreeding of Ukrainians in the region. There are no more East, West, North and South. Now there is only one Ukraine.  




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Heroes of Zakarpattia


Like other regions of Ukraine, Zakarpattia pays a very high price for its security and peaceful sleep. Several dozen graves on the local Hill of Glory are only a small part of all military graves in the region. 

There is not a family in Uzhhorod that does not have military among its relatives, friends, acquaintances or neighbors. Zakarpattia is a small region in terms of population. Moreover, most of the population lives in rural areas. Therefore, everyone in the region knows everyone else and is related to each other. 

In the fall of 2022, it was the 128th Separate Assault Brigade based in Zakarpattia that began the de-occupation of the Kherson region. At that time, Zakarpattia was plunged into mass mourning, and it was clear that every resident of Uzhhorod was living through this event, because almost everyone knew someone who had been killed. 


Volunteers in Zakarpattia


Zakarpattia is a real volunteer center. Due to its proximity to many European countries, Zakarpattia has become one of the main "hubs" for driving vehicles for the military. Volunteers from Uzhhorod are searching all over Europe for the necessary vehicles and equipment for Ukrainian heroes. 

Volunteers also collect tea in the Carpathian Mountains and send it to the front. They deliver fruit to wounded soldiers in hospitals. They collect and send humanitarian aid. 


Transcarpathia gives Ukrainians tired of rocket attacks temporary peace, but every day it demonstrates the price Ukrainians pay for these moments of peace and security. 




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