Columnists > A terrible humanitarian disaster is now overtaking two European cities

28 August 2014 | by David Blair

A terrible humanitarian disaster is now overtaking two European cities

It was a scene that consciously imitated a famous Red Square parade from 1941. On Sunday, as the rest of Ukraine celebrated Independence Day, the pro-Russian rebels who control the eastern city of Donetsk chose to mark the occasion by herding their prisoners through the streets. Captured soldiers from the Ukrainian army, solemn and exhausted in camouflage fatigues, were marched at gunpoint past a furious crowd. Many spectators hurled insults; afterwards, the street was symbolically cleaned.The pro-Russian insurgents explicitly compare their campaign against Ukraine’s Government to the Soviet Union’s struggle against fascism in the Great Patriotic War. Their gesture of defiance will have been inspired by the Red Square parade of 7 November 1941. Then, Stalin delivered a message


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