Ukrainian separatists marched dozens of prisoners of war through the streets of Donetsk Sunday in an act timed to coincide with Ukraine's official Independence Day.
As Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, was speaking in Kiev to the soldiers and sailors in Independence Square, pro-Russian rebels in the east were staging a countermarch – parading captured vehicles and prisoners of war through the streets of Donetsk.
Dozens of prisoners were force-marched through the streets after a loudspeaker announced a parade of "people who were sent to kill us." The men all looked down at their feet as they were marched through the streets at bayonet point, their hands bound behind their backs.
In a further humiliation, the prisoners were followed by street cleaning vehicles to symbolically cleanse the road where they had walked – “a deliberate recreation of a Second World War-era parade of German prisoners by Stalin,” wrote the British Telegraph.
A Reuters correspondent at the scene said some members of the public shouted "fascists" and threw bottles at the prisoners.