Translated and published on Red Star Over Donbass, Oct 28, 2015, original in Russian here
October 27–The leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, has urged residents of Odessa to resist the Ukrainian authorities in response to the decision of a Primorsky district court to ban the use of the Victory Banner during public events because it is a “symbol of the totalitarian regime”. The following statement was posted on Zakharchenko’s official website:
“Throughout this year, Kiev especially scoffs at Odessa. Look at the hasty appointment of the fugitive Georgian president there.
“Why do the Banderists abuse Odessa? It is clear, to break the spirit of Odessa. Odessa is a free city in which free and proud people live. The sea engenders broadmindedness and a great love of freedom.
“Remember how Odessa met the fascists in the Great Patriotic War? The city fought from the first day of occupation to the last. How many citizens of Odessa took up arms and went to defend their homeland? Even after the city was occupied, Odessa partisans continued to fight in the quarries.
“But now the situation is more difficult. Then, 70 years ago, the enemy came to the city as an occupier, a stranger. Then everything was clear — the enemy came from outside. And now the enemy comes from within. He’s in the city, but not immediately recognized. He speaks the same language, wears the same clothes, though he generally lives behind walls. And he is an enemy, an incredibly cruel enemy.
“The cruelty of the enemy is clear. It is one thing to be coerced to obey and accept external control, as with the Nazis. It’s another thing when the enemy tries to remake your soul, crush your spirit. This requires another cruelty — savage and cynical.
“Now the inhabitants of Odessa are banned from flying the Victory Banner, under which their ancestors fought and died, and won against a terrible enemy — Nazism. Imagine if there had been such a ruling two years ago? Tens of thousands of people would have come into the streets, and Kiev would have retreated. For St. George’s ribbon, Odessa rose as one person. We remember it.
“That is why, to ensure that people do not openly fight for the St. George’s ribbon and the Victory Banner, they staged a public burning on May 2, 2014 [the arson massacre at the House of Trade Unions building in Odessa]. The horror of that tragedy became the new bar by which people appreciate certain things. And against the background of the fire at the House of Trade Unions, the Victory Banner seemed unworthy of even one such Khatyn.
“Fear crept into the minds and hearts of the citizens of Odessa. This is what the Kiev junta sought. To do this, citizens of Odessa were burned alive. In order to change their system of values. Hitler in his time could not win Odessa, but the descendants of Bandera and Shukhevych are winning.
“I want to appeal to the inhabitants of Odessa. Today, if you give up the Victory Banner and St. George’s ribbon to the enemy, tomorrow he will take away everything else and make you second-class citizens.
“We are all proud of your town. We know a lot of beautiful songs and great films made about Odessa. Arise, Odessa Mishka, and say: ‘My grandfather fought under this banner, my great-grandfather fought under it, and why should I, a descendant of those heroes, have no right to take to the streets of my city with the Victory Banner?’
“I am sure that the citizens of Odessa have the courage and conscience to do so. The people cannot be defeated. And you can always count on our help and support!”
- Red banner of victory in World War II hoisted over Odessa Trade Union House, TASS, May 9, 2014
- The Victory Banner, from Wikipedia