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Ukrainian Rebels Channel U.S. Confederates

Published: June 10, 2014 (Issue # 1814)



  • Pavel Gubarev, one of the rebel leaders, speaks to the journalists.
    Photo: Youtube

  • The logo of the New Russia Party.
    Photo: Cuongtr.sgvn / Wikimedia Commons

There are a few key components that make a Ukrainian separatist, among them Kalashnikov rifles, Cossack hats, golden crosses around their necks, America bashing, orange-and-black World War II ribbons and Dixie flags.

You did not misread that: pro-Russian separatists have adopted the Confederate flag.

The flag of the unrecognized Novorossia confederation is not entirely identical to the banner of the Army of Northern Virginia, as it lacks stars the Ukrainians would have had to contend with between two to eight such stars, depending on their level of optimism.

But otherwise, it is the same as the Confederate flag, a blue diagonal cross bordered with white on a red background. General Lee would have been proud.

The pro-Russian rebels, known for their dislike of all things American, do not take direct inspiration from the U.S. secession movement or fear the implications of separatist bad luck that their flag entails.

The banner's own exact origins appear murky, much like what happens in Ukraine's strife-torn east.

Dnr-news.com, the official news website of the separatist People's Republic of Donetsk, part of Novorossia, on May 31 credited Ukrainian political analyst Mikhail Pavliv with creating the official banner of the self-proclaimed territory.

Yet, Pavliv, a support of the insurgency, told The St. Petersburg Times he had simply stumbled upon the flag online somewhere.

I simply posted the flag on my Vkontakte [social network] page, he said over Facebook on Monday. I was not even able to track where later.

From there, the flag was picked up by Pavel Gubarev, one of the rebel leaders, Pavliv said.

The Ukrainian Dixie flag has been used in recent weeks by Gubarev's secessionist party of Nororossia and serves as the backdrop in his numerous video appeals.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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