Victory Day in Kharkiv
Kharkiv did not surprise me at all during the morning. The celebrations started by the Slava memorial, where flowers were placed and official speeches were made. Separatists most probably hoped it would be their day of triumph. Dobkin could only say, in the meantime, that “the greatest victories for us are yet to come".
Even though communists and, generally speaking, separatists, had some representation, they had to stand in line after the Ukrainian flags. It was only after the official part that they spread a two-hundred metre black and orange ribbon and marched to Lenin’s monument where they were joined by veterans with a portrait of Stalin.
The traditional slogans, "Fascism will not pass” and an occasional “Thank you grandpas for the victory” were accompanied by new ones: “We will not forgive Odessa” and “Slovyansk – a hero city”. But as before, the separatists of Kharkiv are a disappointment to the Donetsk leaders. Not a single yellow and blue flag was pulled down and trampled upon. With their shared belief in the illegality of the government in Kiev and that their right to speak Russian is limited, they keep repeating that they are Ukrainians and that Ukraine should be one. I like the separatism of Kharkiv.