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, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- "If I knew last year that the Maidan protests would result in such enormous losses, I would not have gone there," said Natalia Komasa, a 26-year-old participant of the anti-government protests in Ukraine.
Protests in Kiev's Independence Square, widely known as Maidan, in November, 2013 Authentic Kyzir White Jersey
, unleashed a year of turmoil. More than 1,300 combatants and civilians have been killed in eastern Ukraine, bringing the overall death toll to more than 4,700. The East European country has been trapped in a heavy crisis since former President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in February.
Komasa, who works as a sales manager in a Kiev-based private company, said that this year was the worst in her life Authentic Derwin James Jersey
, especially in terms of economic well-being.
Oleg Kharchenko, a 35-year-old businessman from Kiev Authentic Rayshawn Jenkins Jersey
, said the sales revenue declined as people saved their expenses. In addition, it became pointless to import goods from abroad because of the unstable exchange rates. "Some companies, especially importers, are forced to operate at a loss, just to stay on the market without losing customers," he said.
"Everything remains as it was -- the taxes are still high and regulatory authorities continue their pressure on businessmen Authentic Forrest Lamp Jersey
," Kharchenko said, adding that he expects no positive development in 2015 if the government would not change its policy regarding business regulation.
"This year has been the worst time period in my life. I saw in my own eyes that houses were burning in the neighborhood and people were dying. It was horrible," Nadezhda Chmihun Authentic Dan Feeney Jersey
, a 72-year-old retiree, who lives in the rebel-controlled Gorlovka town in Donetsk region, told Xinhua by phone.
She said that during the conflict she realized that ordinary people are just "pawns used in a political game of different forces."
"It is clear that neither Ukraine nor insurgents care about us, they are just solving their own problems. In fairness it must be said that Ukraine provides people here with pensions that keep us from dying of starvation," Chmihun said.
"The only thing I expect from the coming year is the end of the war. I want everything to be as it was before. The calm and peaceful skies are the most important, while the economic crisis is a second issue, we will cope with it Authentic Mike Williams Jersey
," she added.
The end of conflict in eastern regions is also a New Year wish of Pavlo, a 21-year-old contract soldier, who participates in the government's military operations against insurgents.
"Of course, I am ready to defend my country and my homeland as a patriot, but I do not clearly understand what we are fighting for," Pavlo, who prefers not to give his last name Authentic Jahleel Addae Jersey
, told Xinhua in a phone conversation.
Although he stressed that he is looking forward to a "real cease-fire" with rebels, Pavlo said he does not expect the end of the conflict soon.
"I do not expect surprises in the near future and a speedy end of the war, because I understand that it's beneficial to someone and it will continue as long as there are people who are interested in it," Pavlo said.
Although moods in Ukraine are not generally positive, there are people, who expect a brighter future for their homeland next year, pointing out some positive changes in the country.
Olexandra Revutskaya Authentic Keenan Allen Jersey
, a 31-year-old TV journalist, believes that much-needed changes have begun in Ukraine and that the people have united to work for a better future. Meanwhile, nobody here is expecting miracles and the Ukrainians understand that there is much work ahead because representatives of the old regime do not want changes, said Revutskaya.
She said that next year she expected deep reforms in Ukraine, the destruction of the Soviet mentality in people and the creation of an "original" Ukraine.
"In order to build a prosperous country we should not copy the European experience and values, but we just need to work hard to change ourselves before changing the country," she emphasized.
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