A top Russian MP described the participants’ stunt as a “gala show for their masters”
A group of Ukrainian activists, led by comedian-turned-volunteer Sergey Pritula, desecrated the flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) during a visit to the US Congress. The delegation met US lawmakers, sharing their experiences of crowdfunding for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The group of Ukrainians wiped their feet on the DPR flag and ‘danced’ on it. While the US officials did not appear to partake in these activities, some of them cheered and laughed at the performance, footage shared by Pritula on social media suggests.
“Even in the US Congress they do know this rag has only one use,” read a caption by Pritula that accompanied the video.
Навіть у Конгресі США знають, що для цієї ганчірки є лише одне застосування. pic.twitter.com/pCJwlNwtxy
— Serhiy Prytula (@serhiyprytula) December 7, 2022
The behavior of the Ukrainian delegation was condemned by the chair of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee and head of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party, Leonid Slutsky, who branded the activists a group of “punks” who held a “gala show for their masters.”
“Civilized people do not behave like this, do not participate in satanic activities and low-key shows stoking the most primitive feelings,” Slutsky wrote in a Telegram post, warning the US Congress itself that it is at risk of turning into a “zoo” if it endorses such behavior.
It’s not the first public stunt by Ukrainian activists or politicians at apparently inappropriate venues. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko brandished Russian passports at a number of events, presenting them as “proof” of Moscow’s aggression. In Davos, he also waved around a piece of a civilian bus, which had been destroyed in the Donbass conflict.
The two Donbass republics, the DPR and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), broke away from Ukraine in 2014 following the Maidan coup in Kiev, which ousted the elected president and triggered a years-long conflict in the country’s east. Early in October, the two republics, as well as the former Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, joined Russia following overwhelming support in local referendums.
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