At noon on March 30, thousands and thousands of Odesa residents started to gather for a demonstration dedicated to celebrating the unity of Ukraine. It was a joyful, peaceful, warm, and talented initiative whose members carried a kilometer-long Ukrainian flag down the streets of Odesa. Video footage of this event has been shown by a number of global companies. With pride and pleasure, the Odessites themselves have been uploading it to social networking websites. Oleksiy Els, one of the participants, has made a short clip about it.
The demonstration ended an hour and a half later, but it ended badly, on an ugly note: when the procession reached the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Shevchenko Park, the UDAR Party press secretary abruptly threw St. George’s ribbon into the Eternal Flame. (At that time, only a few people noticed it, but the ugly escapade became widely known the next day. The woman has been heavily criticized and was fired from the post of press secretary).
When the ‘yellow-and-blue’ march ended, another demonstration began: federalization supporters, numbering about 3000. First, they gathered on the Kulikovo Field, then moved along the city streets and headed to the monument to Duke, where at that point there was a small group of Right Sector members. The crowd of federalism supporters began to press Right Sector. The forces were absolutely uneven, and it could have ended quite badly for the latter. However, the police intervened, creating a live barrier between them and allowing the Right Sector members to escape the encircling and go down the Potemkin Stairs. (The whole chronicle can be found on YouTube.)
The chronicle of these events on federal TV channels
The peaceful, beautiful demonstration with a kilometer-long Ukrainian flag has not been shown on the Russia, Russia-24, NTV, or REN TV channels at all. The footage on Vesti started off with the lead-in “A high-profile scandal in Odesa! The UDAR Party press secretary burned St. George’s ribbon.” The media have only covered the federalization supporters’ demonstration and their encounter with Right Sector. Notably, a reporter claimed that it was Right Sector which attacked the demonstrators with Russian flags. The clips were manipulated to fit the story. Here you can see the marching demonstrators, and here are some weird people running up the Potemkin Stairs to attack them.
REN TV news also opened its story about the events in Odesa with the burning of St George’s ribbon, and reported that the city hosted a demonstration of federalization supporters which was attacked by Right Sector.
NTV Channel covered the events as follows: “Federalization supporters organized their own demonstration and met with Maidan activists, and they showered each other with eggs.” No flag, cloth, or peaceful rally for the unity of Ukraine has been shown by any of the above-named channels.
On the day of the events, Pervyi Kanal [Channel One] also aired only footage of the ‘federal’ demonstration. However, the next day its audience did see footage of the kilometer-long Ukrainian flag and advocates of united Ukraine. These second-long clips were, however, accompanied by million remarks: “Demonstrators have called for peace and unity, but most of the conversations were about war. Here is footage of Right Sector in camouflage and with batons conducting instruction.” (Footage from a completely different spot is added here, in which one can see a lineup of some people and hear the voice of their leader saying, “Today we are at war with Russia.”) Naturally, Pervyi Kanal showed the burning of St. George’s ribbon, noting that the UDAR Party hastened to repudiate the incident. The most curious factor is that Pervyi Kanal reported the encounter between federalism supporters and Right Sector, which at least somehow corresponds to reality: “Near the monument to Duke, Euromaidan was surrounded by Odessites holding Russian flags. The police created a corridor for the supporters of the new government, through which they went down to the quay.”
In general, this is more evidence that events are simply excluded from broadcasts if they do not fit well into the propaganda concept of Russian TV channels with respect to Ukraine. They can be found either on the air on Ukrainian TV channels or on the Internet, if you know what you are looking for.
Below you can watch a detailed video of the incredibly touching demonstration.