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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

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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