November 12, 2018

Winnipeg
-11° C, Light snow

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Pro-Russia parade planned for city riles local Ukrainians

Yevhen Viznyatsya, a recent immigrant from Ukraine, found out about a low-key Russian Victory Day parade Saturday in Winnipeg during which Russians are being encouraged to wear St. George ribbons — symbols of pro-Russian separatist forces.  The ribbons are being distributed to Canadian Russian groups by the Russian embassy. The Ukrainian community is incensed that with the turmoil in Ukraine, local Russians would wear the ribbons. The parade is purported to mark the defeat of the Nazis in the Second World War. The timing is strange given local Russians have never held such a parade before.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Yevhen Viznyatsya, a recent immigrant from Ukraine, found out about a low-key Russian Victory Day parade Saturday in Winnipeg during which Russians are being encouraged to wear St. George ribbons — symbols of pro-Russian separatist forces. The ribbons are being distributed to Canadian Russian groups by the Russian embassy. The Ukrainian community is incensed that with the turmoil in Ukraine, local Russians would wear the ribbons. The parade is purported to mark the defeat of the Nazis in the Second World War. The timing is strange given local Russians have never held such a parade before.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/5/2014 (1648 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The world may love a parade but one quietly planned for Saturday in Winnipeg by anonymous Russian organizers is troubling members of the local Ukrainian community.

For the first time, a Victory Day parade will be held in Winnipeg commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The parade isn't the problem -- it's what people in it are planning to wear that's an issue, said Yevhen Viznyatsya.

Ribbons of St. George -- black-and-orange striped cloth that has become a symbol of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine -- are being distributed to the parade-goers in Winnipeg courtesy of the Russian government.

"They're worn by Russian separatists and they've become a symbol of terrorism for us," said Lesia Szwaluk, treasurer of the Manitoba Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/5/2014 (1648 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The world may love a parade but one quietly planned for Saturday in Winnipeg by anonymous Russian organizers is troubling members of the local Ukrainian community.

For the first time, a Victory Day parade will be held in Winnipeg commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The parade isn't the problem — it's what people in it are planning to wear that's an issue, said Yevhen Viznyatsya.

Ribbons of St. George — black-and-orange striped cloth that has become a symbol of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine — are being distributed to the parade-goers in Winnipeg courtesy of the Russian government.

"They're worn by Russian separatists and they've become a symbol of terrorism for us," said Lesia Szwaluk, treasurer of the Manitoba Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

"In light of recent news, for me, it's disrespectful to the Ukrainian community," said Viznyatsya, a multilingual computer programmer from Ukraine who moved to Winnipeg four years ago.

He read about plans for a Victory Day parade that were outlined in English on the RussianWinnipeg.org website. It starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Manitoba legislature and ends at the Cenotaph on Memorial Boulevard.

A pro-Russian activist distributes St. George Ribbon to militants at the city hall in Kostyantynivka, 35 kilometres south of Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, April 28, 2014, after masked militants with automatic weapons seized the hall building.

SERGEI GRITS / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES

A pro-Russian activist distributes St. George Ribbon to militants at the city hall in Kostyantynivka, 35 kilometres south of Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, April 28, 2014, after masked militants with automatic weapons seized the hall building.

The part that's alarming, said Viznyatsya, is written only in Russian. It said St. George ribbons are being distributed to the parade-goers in Winnipeg courtesy of the Russian government through its Canadian Embassy. The ribbons used to be worn as symbols to honour war vets — similar to Remembrance Day poppies in Canada and the U.K. Now they're a symbol of Russian nationalism worn by masked gunmen and separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

Viznyatsya said he's concerned ribbons worn at a parade in Canada will be used as propaganda by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I don't want this parade to be propaganda in Russia — the next day in the Russian news we'll see the story 'Winnipeg supports Russian separatists.' "

No one at RussianWinnipeg.org responded to an email request for comment, and no contacts for the parade were listed.

Sofia Barklon, with the Russian Cultural Association of Manitoba, said she knew nothing about the parade or who is organizing it.

The Winnipeg Police Service said a parade permit had been obtained for the event but they couldn't reveal who applied for the permit.

Szwaluk said she doesn't know who's organized the parade but called its timing "suspicious."

Pavel Golovkin / The Associated Press files
Some of the more than ten thousand of pro-Kremlin demonstrators holding Moscow and St. George flags and a poster depicting President Putin in a naval hat march in central Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2014 to express support latest development in Russian-Ukrainian relations. The poster reads: �Sovereignty! Because I Love Russia! V. Putin.�

CP

Pavel Golovkin / The Associated Press files Some of the more than ten thousand of pro-Kremlin demonstrators holding Moscow and St. George flags and a poster depicting President Putin in a naval hat march in central Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2014 to express support latest development in Russian-Ukrainian relations. The poster reads: �Sovereignty! Because I Love Russia! V. Putin.�

"This is the very first time they're having a Victory Day parade in Winnipeg — and this is since the Second World War. All of a sudden, this year with all the turmoil in Ukraine and all the suffering, they're having a Victory Parade?"

The English post on the RussianWinnipeg.org website says the parade is apolitical. It's happening now because "we have received requests for such a parade from the members of www.russianwinnipeg.org for the last number of years," it said.

"Everybody has the right to do what they'd like to do, but we're a multicultural community," said Szwaluk.

"I don't think we should hurt each other. Having those ribbons is very hurtful to the Ukrainian community. To me it just smells... I'm not comfortable with it."

Viznyatsya wrote to Premier Greg Selinger, Tory Leader Brian Pallister and Mayor Sam Katz to alert them to the parade.

"I just want to know their opinion." Pallister's office said they'd look into it.

Viznyatsya said he never heard back from Selinger or Katz.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

How much of the intention behind the parade is celebratory and how much is provocative? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Reporter

Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 8:35 AM CDT: Changes headline

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us