Ukrainians burn effigy of Russian president Vladimir Putin

Anger against Russia's against in Crimea - and their alleged meddling in the civil conflict - remains

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The Independent Online

Ukrainians appear to have burnt an effigy of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Residents of the northern Ukrainian city of Sumy reportedly gathered to watch the effigy of what one local radio station described as “Ukraine’s No 1 enemy – Russian President Vladimir Putin” set alight.

The burning of the figure, decorated with black and orange ribbons St George’s ribbons (Russia’s symbol of military valour) and with a pig’s snout over Mr Putin’s face, comes amid increasing Ukrainian anger over Russia’s perceived role in the civil conflict and the brutal annexation of the Crimea last year.

Ukraine’s government in Kiev – along with impartial western observers – allege that Russia has been supplying Ukrainian pro-Russian rebels with military equipment and soldiers.

The charge has been consistently denied by the Kremlin, which insists it is merely an onlooker to the conflict which has so far claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people.

A ceasefire agreed in recent weeks looks on increasingly fragile as Ukrainian forces declined to pull their heavy weaponry back from contested borders, blaming continuing aggression from pro-Russian rebels. 

The pull-out was among the agreed conditions of the cessation of hostilities.

Foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met today in Paris to discuss the peace deal agreed on 12 February.

Sumy residents were celebrating end of the Orthodox Lent festival at which – traditionally – an effigy representing the end of winter is burnt.

On Sunday hundreds of Ukrainians took to the streets to remember the approximately 100 people who died during the protests that engulfed Kiev a year ago around Maidan Square.

 

Meanwhile, Russian residents of Kaliningrad burnt an effigy of United States president Barack Obama, the Moscow Times reported.

Additional reporting from Press Association

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