On May 19th representatives of the local authorities, the Russian military and Moscow Patriarchate priests were standing in lines on the steps in Sevastopol downtown. The occupying power representatives declared a ‘children parade’ dedicated to the anniversary of the victory in WWII.
The children column was preceded with the military vehicles transporting senior schoolchildren wearing the Russian Army uniform. Then the children wearing various uniforms passed marching ceremonially the reviewing stand where the grown-ups were.
The first marched junior schoolchildren and nursery school kids wearing the military uniform. They were followed by columns of children wearing uniforms of YUNARMIA, Navy, camo as well as of ZARNITSA and RUBEZH Russian patriotic movements. Among the parade participants was also a column wearing the WWII Soviet soldiery uniforms, with ‘Immortal Regiment’ portraits. Red flags, starts and other Soviet and Communist symbols forbidden or not recommended in Ukraine for public use and propaganda due to the de-Communization laws were used during the event.
The same day – May 19th – Ukraine was commemorating Victims of Political Repressions.
Ms Olga Skrypnyk, the Crimean Human Right Group head, thinks that such ‘children parades’, with the military equipment and the Communist symbols, held in Crimea, and particularly in Sevastopol by the occupation authorities, are aimed at breaking cultural links between Ukraine and residents of occupied territories.
‘This is the way the Russian Federation uses trying to educate the Crimean children in its values that contradict the values of Ukraine and other democratic countries. This is an attempt to substitute ideas, to falsify historical events or keep silence thereof, to hide facts. It was the Soviet time when the Ukrainians suffered of Great Famine, repressions, and mass executions, while the Crimean Tatars were deported from Crimea. But today the Crimean children are presented the Soviet and Communist symbols as holiday ones, without any opportunity to learn tragic consequences of the Soviet power for the millions of people,’ the human rights expert pointed out.