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Kremlin-backed separatists humiliate Ukrainian army in Donetsk parade (VIDEO)

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Aug. 24, 2014, 7:08 p.m. | Ukraine — by Helen Mukhina

Hundreds of people gather in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk to watch captured Ukrainian soldiers march on the main street on Aug. 24.
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Helen Mukhina

Helen Mukhina is a native of Kyiv and a part-time Kyiv Post staff member. She graduated from Kyiv National Linguistic University in 2010 and knows Ukrainian, Russian and English. She worked as a guide for American army soldiers who studied the Russian language in Kyiv and has three years of experience in journalism.

On Aug. 24, when most of Ukraine was celebrating its independence from the Soviet Union, pro-Russian separatists of Donetsk People's Republic forced imprisoned Ukrainian servicemen to parade on the main street of Donetsk in front of hundreds of local supporters.

The separatists -- who are considered terrorists by Ukraine's leaders and who claim to hold more than 1,000 hostiages -- publicly announced the action would take place simultaneously with the military parade held in Kyiv by the Ukrainian government. They called it an "anti-fascist rally."

Videos and photos from the site, Lenin Street in central Donetsk, show several dozen people in military uniform, allegedly Ukrainian soldiers taken captive by the separatists, walk the street with a convoy of armed men, while the people on roadsides shout and swear. 

Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner by Russian-backed separatists are paraded on Donetsk's main street.

There was no official response from Ukraine's authorities as of 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24.

The mockery in Donetsk occurred as a war between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine's eastern region is in its fifth month.

Photos and videos show hundreds of civilians who gathered to witness the humiliation of Ukrainian soldiers. The people are heard chanting "Fascists!", calling the soldiers "F*cking demons!" and "F*ggots!" and demanding that the servicemen get on their knees. Some were throwing flour, eggs and bottles at the prisoners.

To add to the humiliation, a street cleaning machine followed the prisoners - a clear reference to the march of captive German soldiers in Moscow in 1944, where a street cleaner symbolically washed the road after them.

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