Ukrainians celebrated the national independence day today, which marks the day of their freedom from the former USSR. In Kyiv the with parade was respectful and dignified, but pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk held a parade that surely shows the sort of people that control Donetsk these days as they paraded and mocked captured servicemen through the streets in front of thousands of people jeering them whilst throwing anything at them that came to hand.
The parade was led by around fifty soldiers: prisoners of war who simply looked down as they walked, clearly in a very dirty state, their heads shaved and many of whom were clearly injured. and unkempt.
They were jeered and shouted at and all manner of items were thrown at them, including shoes, eggs, bags of flour, dog excrement, empty water bottles and soiled nappies. As they were paraded through central Donetsk with their hands behind their backs, Tchaikovsky’s “Slavonic March,” was played throughout the streets. This music is a familiar and very patriotic piece to Russians..
To add to the humiliation, two tank trucks followed the prisoners-of-war, spraying soapy water onto the street as if to say that the street needed cleaning as the captives passed through the city.
Those watching, men, women and children, screamed “Fascists!”,“Perverts!” and “Hang them from a tree!” One woman told a TV crew “They are attacking our city. They are fascists. I am in favor of this parade.” A rebel soldier close to the parade, said that the parade proved how well the captives were treated “We keep them on cots and feed them three times a day,” he said.
This spectacle was organised to contrast with the traditional military Independence Day parade in Kiev, the national capital, where soldiers from the national army marched through the streets of the city, feted by cheering crowds.
The Geneva Conventions’ rules concerning POWs prohibit humiliation or parading prisoners publicly.
The commander of the rebel militia made a public announcement after the parade had passed through the streets. “Kiev said that on the 24th, on the Independence Day of Ukraine, they would have a parade. Indeed, they did march in Donetsk, although it wasn’t a parade,” top rebel commanderAlexander Zakharchenko said. “Soldiers of the armed forces of Kiev walked along the main streets of Donetsk. What Poroshenko planned has taken place.”
Ukraine’s defence ministry voiced a strong protest about humiliation of these soldiers, saying. “The organisers of this disgusting event cannot be considered human,” a spokesman told Interfax-Ukraine news agency. “Nothing is holy” for them, he added.
You might imagine that shooting down the Malaysian Airlines plane would have embarrassed the pro-Russians into a more civilised way of conducting themselves, but it hasn’t. They seem to be completely shameless.