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Russian Roulette (Dispatch 36)

Bloody clashes in Mariupol overshadowed Victory Day celebrations in eastern Ukraine.
May 12, 2014, 5:00pm

In an effort to curb further unrest, the Ukrainian government canceled the majority of the victory day parades across the country. Commemorating the victory over Nazi Germany during WWII, victory day came at a convenient time for the pro-Russia rebels. Claiming they're fighting a fascist junta in Kiev, the Donetsk Peoples Republic used the symbolism of victory day to boost support for their independence referendum on Sunday.

As the Donetsk city council organized an official celebration, a thousand few people gathered in the square listening to speeches with a heavy amount of soviet nostalgia. Halfway through, it was announced that there had been deadly clashes in Mariupol, a port city to the south. VICE News headed down there to investigate the clashes that proved to be another major escalation in the Ukrainian crisis.

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