Cyprus Mail

Ukrainian Embassy upset over Russian events in Cyprus

pro russia event paphos
File photo: A previous pro-Russia event in Paphos

The Ukrainian Embassy in Nicosia on Monday expressed its “deep disappointment” over permission given for Russian events to be held across Cyprus to commemorate Russia’s Victory Day this week.

The events, known as “Fires of Remembrance”, have been organised by the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots of Cyprus, and will take place in Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos, and Nicosia on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, which is Russia’s Victory Day.

The Ukrainian Embassy described the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots of Cyprus as a “pro-Kremlin” group and expressed its upset that the municipalities in all four towns “gave permission for such events to be held by an organisation which is a mouthpiece of Kremlin propaganda.”

They said they see the granting of permission for the events to be held as a “cynical and immoral gesture towards all Ukrainians”.

This gesture, they said, has been done “at a time when Ukraine is fighting for its right to exist for the tenth year in a row, and the courageous Ukrainian people are fighting every day not only for their peaceful democratic future, but also for the whole of Europe.”

Victory Day commemorates the defeat of the Nazis at the end of the second world war, and the embassy likened the current war Ukraine is fighting to that war.

Now, as 81 years ago, Ukraine is fighting against total evil. Now, just like 81 years ago, Ukraine is fighting for the future – its own and that of the whole of Europe, the whole free world,” they said.

For this reason, they called on Cyprus’ authorities to “pay careful attention to the activities of the so-called Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots of Cyprus, as well as to carefully investigate the main goal and purpose of its activities.”

Ukraine had previously celebrated Victory Day alongside Russia following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but changes were made as the country shifted its politics towards Europe.

In 2015, the year after Russia annexed Crimea, it began to celebrate its own “Victory Day over Nazism in World War II”, with the term “second world war” replacing the Russian term “Great Patriotic War” in all Ukrainian legislation in the same year.

Last year, the law changed again, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy decreeing that Ukraine observe Europe Day on May 9 alongside the European Union.

The country’s parliament later ratified a further bill he submitted that May 8 be observed as a day of remembrance for those who lost their lives during the second world war.

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