News / Europe

Separatists March Ukrainian Prisoners Through Donetsk

  • Armed pro-Russian separatists escort a column of Ukrainian prisoners of war, left, as they walk across central Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.
  • Armed pro-Russian separatists, right, escort a column of Ukrainian prisoners of war as they walk across central Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.
  • Ukrainian prisoners of war sit in a bus after being escorted for a forced-march across central Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.
  • Captured Ukrainian army prisoners sit in a bus after they were escorted by Pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian rebel tries to stop a man who slaps a captured Ukrainian army prisoner they are escorting on central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.
  • A man throws an egg at captured Ukrainian army prisoners as they are escorted by Pro-Russian rebels in a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.
  • Children holding a Russian flag pose for photos on a destroyed Ukrainian army Grad multiple rocket launcher system that was seized and put on public display at the central square in Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.
  • A man takes photos of destroyed Ukrainian army vehicles that were seized and put on public display at the central square in Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2014.

Pro-Russian Separatists March Ukrainian POWs Through Donetsk

Reuters

Pro-Russian separatists marched dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war through the eastern rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Sunday in a parade meant to counter Independence Day celebrations in Kyiv.

Some bandaged, some limping, the men were marched up one of Donetsk's main streets and past the remains of Ukrainian armored personnel carriers destroyed in battle and put on display in the city's main Lenin Square.

Hundreds of people lined the street to see the largely disheveled and unshaven soldiers who walked with their heads bowed and their hands behind them, led by an armed woman in camouflage and flanked by men carrying Kalashnikovs.

“We are now able to watch passing people who were sent to kill us,” a voice said over the loudspeaker, mocking the soldiers as “victorious Ukrainians”.

“We are Russians,” the voice boomed to applause.

For days, separatists have prepared for the march, timed to coincide with Independence Day celebrations and a military parade in Kyiv where Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for solidarity against the rebels.

Kyiv blames Russia for fanning the conflict by sending fighters and weapons to eastern Ukraine through rebel-held border regions. Russia denies it is involved in the conflict.

World War II event

Steeped in historical significance, the event was meant to recreate the forced march of nearly 60,000 German Nazi soldiers through the streets of Moscow in 1944 towards the end of World War Two.

Some on Sunday threw bottles from the crowd of men and women waving the Russian flag and the red, black and blue standard of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Poeple's Republic. Others shouted “fascists” and “murderers”.

In a theatrical gesture intended to show the captives were sullied, street cleaning vehicles moved behind them spraying water where they had walked, similar to what happened in Moscow in 1944.

Separatist rhetoric and Russian state-owned media coverage of events in eastern Ukrainian have evoked memories of World War Two, revered in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.

Ten armored personnel carriers and military vehicles, some of them still littered with bullets, were displayed on Lenin Square. One had a sneaker and a dirtied yellow cap inside.

“Today the Ukrainians have their Independence Day. But today we have our day of independence from them. They are attacking today, we are defending ourselves,” said a rebel.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
August 25, 2014 8:25 AM
Not "The rebels, who are fighting for an alliance with Russia" .. it is the people who are fighting for their homes, for their land, for their independence, for the right to speak their native language !!! Why do not you write as the Ukrainian army is killing innocent civilians? This is humane?


by: LO777
August 24, 2014 2:12 PM
That is the important information. Civilians of Donetsk really support pro-Russian separatists.People shouted at Ukrainian prisoners of war and called them “fascists” and “murderers”.

In Response

by: Michael from: S-Pb
August 25, 2014 1:15 AM
This is news to you?

In Response

by: Bruce from Ann Arbor from: United States
August 24, 2014 5:03 PM
The separatists have guns, clearly displayed. It is an open question how the civilians of Donetsk might feel if they were not under threat of force, and in particular how they might feel about being forced to participate in a violation of the Geneva Convention.


by: meanbill from: USA
August 24, 2014 12:49 PM
THE WISE MAN said it;.. "To end a war and bring lasting peace, I'd negotiate with the devil himself"..... and winter is coming and the war will still be going on, and one should remember what happened to the Napoleon and Nazi armies, when fighting a war in freezing winter weather..... (Ukraine, what you gain today, you'll lose in the cold of winter?)..... NEGOTIATE

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from a prolonged war"...... from the book, "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu

In Response

by: Mark from: Virginia
August 24, 2014 6:38 PM
One very glaring difference between what happened in 1812 and 1942 and today, in the Ukraine with winter approaching....
The French Army and the German Army were unsuited for winter operations in such climes, they were not acclimated to the intense cold of the Russian winter, they did not have the proper salves and clothing to combat the cold. The Ukrainians, however, are fully acclimated and conditioned to those temperatures. It is in that same region that forced both the French and the Germans to defeat due to the winter conditions. The same region where the Ukrainians now live.
There is no comparison between what happened 71 and 202 years ago to the present day. If nothing else, fighters from both sides of the struggle know what to expect as winter approaches, and can adapt to it, far easier than invaders did.


by: jack Dunster from: Lublin, Poland
August 24, 2014 12:45 PM
The act of parading captured soldiers - and hence, humiliating them, is contrary to the Geneva Convention. What you see here is a war crime - Please note as well that their hands are restrained - again, contrary to the Geneva Convention. Anyone seeing this video is seeing a war crime. This is the way Russians behave and this is why Ukraine must be supported.

In Response

by: Serge from: S-Pb
August 25, 2014 7:34 AM
It's better to be "contrary to the Geneva Convention", than to kill civilians and/or to be killed. Poles haven't rights to preach russians and ukrainians.

In Response

by: LO777
August 25, 2014 2:31 AM
People in Donetsk did not want to have an independent state, they just wanted to have a republic. But Ukrainian government sent their army to kill people.
The parade is not a war crime. No one was hurt. Ukrainian army is murdering civilians. It is a reall war crime. About 5000 civilians watched the parade. They know better what is going on there. All these civilians blamed Ukrainian army.

In Response

by: Michael from: S-Pb
August 25, 2014 1:18 AM
Bomb the civilian population is under the Geneva Convention? Do you remember it when it suits you.

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 24, 2014 5:30 PM
TRUTH BE TOLD... I don't believe the pro-Russian separatists are signatories of the Geneva or Hague conventions?..... but Ukraine is?


by: George from: USA
August 24, 2014 12:16 PM
You are evil Mr.Putin.

In Response

by: Michael from: S-Pb
August 25, 2014 1:13 AM
And here Putin? In Ferguson, then he is guilty?

In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
August 24, 2014 10:23 PM
,.......well Obama is not Mother Teresa!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid