MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said Monday the military parade during Ukraine’s independence day celebrations was a demonstration of its aggressive plans.
“Kiev had a parade yesterday. Military units that have been conducting punitive operations over the last several months took part in it. I have no idea what pushed them to make that decision, but instead of calling for peaceful dialogue, instead of a mourning ceremony for all of the victims of this bloody conflict, a demonstration of aggressive plans to escalate the crisis was created,” State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.
On Sunday, August 24, Ukraine celebrated its 23rd independence day since the collapse of the USSR. The celebrations included a military parade in Kiev, with the display of the military hardware that is said to have left for eastern Ukraine right after the parade.
In his speech during the celebration, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that about $3 billion would be allocated for the rearmament of the Ukrainian military. Moscow thought it tragic that the independence day and the past several months have been marked by the military operation in southeastern Ukraine that has claimed thousands of lives.
Since mid-April, Ukrainian authorities have been conducting a military operation in southeastern Ukraine aimed at suppressing the independence supporters who refused to acknowledge the new government that came to power following a February 22 coup.
Moscow has called Kiev’s actions a punitive operation, urging the Ukrainian government to stop the bloodshed and pursue a peaceful resolution of the conflict.