Victory Day in Ukraine: How It Happened

Today, May 9th 2019, Ukraine celebrates Victory Day over Nazism in World War II.

Previously it was called the Great Patriotic War, but in 2015 this definition was abolished within the framework of so-called decommunisation. However, it is now used by the descendants of those who defeated Nazism, expelling the Germans from the territory of Ukraine, the USSR, and a number of European countries.

The main event of this day is the march of the “Immortal Regiment”, which starts from the Arsenalnaya metro station and ends at the Eternal Flame in the Park of Glory. In Kiev there will be those who consider May 9th as the Victory Day of the Red Army. There are a lot of such people, as the past years have shown.

And this year, they, apparently, the authorities of several cities in the south-East of Ukraine will already openly support it.

Nationalists and radicals oppose the “Immortal Regiment” – they usually stage their performances on the route of the march, as was the case every year – so let’s how it is this year.

All timestamps are in local time.

13:43 The Vice Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kirilenko attacked the Immortal Regiment.

“The ‘Immortal Regiment’ event was not created by the Kremlin as an action of memory, but as an action of propaganda”.

13:28 The co-chairman of “Opposition Platform – For Life” Yury Boyko with other people’s deputies laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kiev.

13:19 In Moscow the “Immortal Regiment” began. A live broadcast is below:

13:08 In Krivoy Rog, a 64-year-old pensioner with a St. George’s ribbon was detained, reported the press service of the State Police of the Dnepropetrovsk region.

13:02 In Odessa the participants of the Immortal Regiment figured out how to circumvent the prohibition of communist symbols. They dressed in red and shouted “Banderist demons, get out of Odessa” and “Odessa is a hero-city”.

12:56 The Immortal Regiment in Kiev (photo from the “Inter” news agency).

12:52 According to the correspondent of “Strana”, in Odessa three people were detained for shouting “I love you, Soviet Union”. Three more were detained by the police for alcohol intoxication. 

12:49 Meanwhile, on May 9th, the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko organised its “immortal” regiment in Kiev with portraits of the ATO militants who died whilst trying to capture the land of Donbass. 

12:48 The lawyer Maksim Lenko published several photos from the Alley of Glory in Kiev:

“These people are brought up like this. Educated to keep the eternal fire of the memory of the heroes of war in their hearts. In memory of fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, they are united in a single march, a single impulse to celebrate the Day of the Great Victory. This eternal fire prevents them from sitting still. It pushes them into the streets on May 9th, puts them in rows, makes them stand shoulder to shoulder, like how their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers stood, and bow to the monuments to the victorious heroes. The feeling of unity in such a system is not transmittable! This feeling of the winners. It is laid in us by our ancestors and bequeathed to us to preserve and pass on to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. That’s what is necessary in order to be alive!

And these living memories of the fallen are worthy!

Happy Victory Day!”

12:37 In the greeting of Zelensky on May 9th there are two things that are interesting: 

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Firstly, he called Victory Day “our Thanksgiving Day”, making an explicit reference to an American holiday that is not at all connected to war.

Secondly, he could not resist to reproach Putin, who once said that the Russian Federation would have won the war without Ukraine. 

The caustic remark of Zelensky vis-a-vis the Russian Federation are already becoming the hallmark of his speeches on the airwaves. 

12:33 Kernes and Rabinovich in Kharkov had a snack with veterans. 

12:29 In Kharkov, Yury Derkach, the organiser of the Immortal Regiment, was sprayed with tear gas in the face, reported “Law and Control”.

12:26 In Dnepropetrovsk bottles of red paint were thrown at the participants of the Immortal Regiment, reports the “Life of Dnepr” public newspaper. 

12:20 In Odessa, on the Alley of Glory, a man with a St. George’s ribbon was detained.

11:57 Arseny Yatsenyuk on Facebook did not say a word about Victory Day, but congratulated Israel on Independence Day.

Recall that in 2015, in an interview with German media Yatsenyuk said that in 1941 the Soviet Union attacked Ukraine and Germany.

11:52 Here is how the bots of Poroshenko harassed participants of the Immortal Regiment.

11:46 Kharkov also hosts events in honour of May 9th. In the morning several thousands of people gathered at the Memorial of Glory to lay flowers near the monument.

The procession consists of members of the “Immortal Regiment”. The column was headed by war veterans, as well as the Mayor Gennady Kernes. Next to him were the people’s deputies Granovsky and Rabinovich.

50 meters away from the place of laying flowers the road was blocked by about 20 radicals. Some of them were in camouflage uniforms with the words National Druzhina. Some carried portraits of UPA members.

Young guys aged 17–25 for some time “led” the column, but going to the eternal flame, they separated, giving the participants of the main procession the opportunity to lay flowers.

A small concert greeting for war veterans, as well as an infantry march, took place at the memorial. A further laying of flowers at the memorial took place against the background of the calls of two sides of the event – some shouted: “Thank you grandfather for the victory” and “fascism will not pass,” others chanted “Glory to Ukraine” and “Bandera, Shukhevych Our Heroes”.

Together with the politicians at the memorial, representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) held a memorial service for those killed in World War II, after which the official delegation left. Throughout the day, people continued to arrive at the Memorial of Glory who also decided to visit the memory of the victims.

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There were no clashes in Kharkov. The first premise arose at the entrance to the memorial, when a public activist noticed in the portrait of one of the participants of the Immortal Regiment a printed version of the St. George’s ribbon. The activist demanded to call the police, but he was pushed aside by the participants of the march themselves, not even giving him the opportunity to enter the territory of the memorial.

But physical clashes occurred already near the eternal flame, when one of the radicals, after shouting “Bandera, Shukhevych – our heroes”, received a blow from someone in the crowd.

The police immediately became a cordon between the radicals and the “Immortal Regiment”, using tear gas.

In general, a festive mood reigned in the city, at the memorial people sang songs from the Soviet and military years, like “Katyusha” and “Holy War”. Also in Kharkov, concerts are expected for veterans in Gorky Park, near the Opera House and at memorable places in different parts of the city and region.

11:39 At the Alley of Glory “Demorda” – a Ukrainian pseudo party that only serves to troll non-banderists and support Poroshenko – who shout “Glory to Ukraine” waits for the veterans. The veterans respond to them by saying that “Fascism will not pass.”

11:27 The Ukrainian “Strana” news agency found the award documents of the grandfather of Vladimir Zelensky – Semen Ivanovich. His data is in the database named “Memory of the People”.

The grandfather of the newly elected president was born in Krivoy Rog in 1924. He was the commander of a mortar platoon, and then the commander of a rifle company of the 174th regiment of the 57th Guards Rifle division. In 1944 he received two orders of the Red Star. He entered graduation with the rank of Lieutenant Guard.

The website also has a description of the feat of the grandfather of Vladimir Zelensky.

“Comrade Zelensky Semen Ivanovich in the battles from 23rd January to 9th Feb 1944 with his mine platoon suppressed the fire of a mini battery, two easel machine guns, and three light machine guns… On February 1st in the village of Aleksandrovka… he killed up to 15 German soldiers and officers…. He repulsed 4 attacks and took a captured warehouse,” says the document.

Also, Semen Zelensky “having seen the beaten tankman, ordered a soldier to occupy the tank and from there to fire from the machine gun at the attacking infantry of the opponent”.

11:22 Vladimir Zelensky arrived in Krivoy Rog today and came to the grave of his grandfather, a war veteran Semen Ivanovich Zelensky. Like his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, he doesn’t mind looking hypocritical and supporting Banderists and Soviet soldiers at the same time.

11:02 Before the start of the “Immortal Regiment” rally in the center of Kiev, the mother of the deceased former People’s Deputy of the Party of Regions Irina Berezhnaya, Elena, was detained. She was detained last year too

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She tried to go to the perimeter of the march in a T-shirt in the colours of a St. George’s ribbon. After a skirmish and a refusal to stop, Berezhnaya was detained by the police. 

In fact, the human rights activist, like last year, was wearing a Zara branded T-shirt.

10:50 It is interesting that the “Day of Reconciliation”, promoted by the authorities on May 8th, did not even surface yesterday in Google trends in Ukraine. This suggests that the majority of the population does not perceive this day as a holiday and do not quite understand who should reconcile with who. Some people were looking for “May 8 holiday” or “red poppy”, but nothing more than a few. 

10:35 As a side note, here is what the main Victory parade in Moscow looks like today. As always – with a military march and Putin.

10:33 How Dnepropetrvosk celebrates Victory Day. 

10:25 The procession of the Immortal Regiment started. People moved from the Arsenalnaya metro to the Alley of Glory. In their hands they hold portraits of their relatives who fought against the Nazis, as well as posters saying “Nobody is forgotten and nothing is forgotten.”

10:13 The odious banderist and US citizen Ulana Suprun published a post in which she did not congratulate anyone on anything, but she attacked the Russian world, publishing a photo by Arya Stark.

10:09 People arrive. There will be a lot of participants at the rally, like last year

10:04 The police encircled an elderly woman with a red star on a foil cap. She was taken aside. They said that she provokes and asked her to show her documents. The gathered people ask to let her go. Someone shouted: “Fascists!”

9:53 Veterans arrived at the Alley of Glory. 

9:51 Outside Krivoy Rog radicals threw stones at a bus that was supposed to bring people to the city for the celebration of Victory Day. The windshield was smashed. The photo was published on the FaceBook page of the people’s deputy from the “Opposition Bloc” Aleksandr Vilkul.

9:48 Around the Arsenalnaya metro station there is a fence with am admittance system and a lot of police.

9:45 The opponents of the “Immortal Regiment” – in this case it is banderists from C14 – started to position themselves somewhere nearby. 

9:39 The main war criminal of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko – who has spent the last 5 years promoting Stepan Bandera as a “hero”, and who is always ready to exploit a public event for cheap PR – hypocritically came to the Eternal Flame before everyone, laid flowers, and left. Everything happened against the background of mourning music. Along with Poroshenko, the Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman (also a Banderist), and the head of the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epifany, also arrived. 

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