Ukrainian Rebels Channel U.S. Confederates
Published: June 10, 2014 (Issue # 1814)
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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