Sunday, August 24, 2014

In Eastern Ukraine, Rebel Mockery Amid Independence Celebration

Members of the Donetsk People’s Republic paraded captured Ukrainian soldiers on the streets of downtown Donetsk on Sunday. Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times
By ANDREW E. KRAMER, NYT
AUG. 24, 2014

DONETSK, Ukraine — On a day when Ukrainians celebrated their independence from the Soviet Union with parades and speeches, pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country staged a grim counter-spectacle: a parade that mocked the national army and celebrated the death and imprisonment of its soldiers.

Leading the procession was an attractive young blond woman carrying an assault rifle, followed by several dozen captured Ukrainian soldiers: filthy, bruised and unkempt. Their heads were shaved, they wore fetid camouflage uniforms, and they looked down at their feet as they walked.

Onlookers shouted that the men should be shot, and they pelted the prisoners with empty water bottles and rolls of toilet paper as they stumbled down Artyomovsk Street, Donetsk’s main thoroughfare. A loudspeaker played Tchaikovsky’s “Slavonic March,” a familiar Russian patriotic piece.

Behind the prisoners came two tank trucks spraying soapy water, demonstratively cleaning the pavement where the Ukrainian soldiers had passed.

(More here.)

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