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Ukraine rebels mock festivities





Kiev: Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine paraded dozens of captured soldiers before a jeering crowd on Sunday in mockery of Independence Day celebrations in the capital.

Ukraine's pro-Western government had sought to boost morale with an upbeat military parade to mark the country's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands in the iconic Independence Square, known locally as the Maidan, President Petro Poroshenko decried Russian "aggression" and said he was "convinced that the battle for Ukraine, for independence, will be our success."

But it was markedly different scene in the eastern rebel stronghold of Donetsk, where around 40 or 50 captured government soldiers were paraded through the city's central Lenin Square as onlookers hurled garbage and empty bottles at them.

The grim scene appeared designed to recall the famous moment in 1944 when thousands of captured Nazi soldiers were paraded through Moscow on Stalin's orders.

Human Rights Watch deputy director Rachel Denber said on Twitter that the event amounted to "humiliating and degrading treatment" of prisoners.


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