April 24, 2014
That’s the question to be asked in Ukraine, but also in Moldova, and possibly in other countries from the former Soviet sphere of influence. Many in Ukraine are likely to mark Europe’s Day. We remember the EU flags on Maidan, and it would make sense if pro-Europeans would show the colours again.
But 9 May is in all post-Soviet countries the Day of Victory, День Победы, marking the end of World War II, which cost the USSR 20 million dead. The capitulation of Nazi Germany took place on 8 May 1945, but it was announced in the USSR on 9 May.
It can be anticipated that Russia will do its utmost to mark 9 May in Eastern Ukraine, in Moldova and some other places, so that the world would see “who is together with Russia” in the current geopolitical confrontation.
Russians have a new expression for these territories – Новороссия, or New Russia.
Undoubtedly, on 9 May Moscow will employ anti-fascist symbols. And there will be a lot of USSR flags. The Soviet flags with the hammer and the sickle were one of the symbols of the celebrations of the Crimea “referendum”. Russian propaganda calls pro-European forces in Ukraine “fascist”.
It would not be mistaken to consider that those who would attend the Victory Day parade are seeking immediate unification with Russia, and those marking Europe day hoping for a more distant EU membership.
If two rallies are held in the same city, the potential for confrontation is significant. I asked the Commission how they see the security risk on 9 May. The essence of their response was that the Commission had more pressing issues rather than to think about anniversaries (watch from min. 10).
In my country, Bulgaria, the saying goes: tell me what you celebrate on 9 May, and I will tell you who you are.