Pro-Russian separatists paraded a group of Ukrainian prisoners down a street in Donetsk on Sunday, as residents jeered and trucks washed the street to make clear they were unclean. The parade took place on Ukraine’s independence day, marked by a military parade through Kiev.
Onlookers shouted at the group, who were forced to march with their hands tied behind their backs.
A loudspeaker announced their by telling spectators that “we are now able to watch passing people who were sent to kill us”, according to reports.
Film of the scenes, shot by Russian news channel LifeNews, shows prisoners being marched down a street by men holding guns. After the procession, trucks spraying water drive down the street, apparently to clean it.
Onlookers filmed the men as they walked past, and are said to have shouted ‘fascists’ at the prisoners.
The march is thought to be separatists’ response to Ukrainian celebrations of the country’s 23 independence day. It is the first time the country has celebrated the occasion since 2009, when military events marking the day were banned by pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych.
Ukrainian military fighters led the procession of armoured vehicles, machine guns and missile systems through the streets of Kiev. The country also held a naval display in the port of Odessa.
New president Petro Poroshenko announced alongside the parade that he would increase military spending.