Vienna: invective and nationalism at commemorations of 9-May

Several hundred Russians have gathered in the Austrian capital to support the war against Ukraine, causing passers -by and the disapproval of passers -by.

“You see how they scream, these Ukrainian pigs, they have been lobotomized by the Satanist West who seeks to divide Russia for two hundred years.” This is the type of discourse that we could hear in the heart of Vienna, Monday, May 9, on the occasion of the commemorations of the liberation of Europe by the Red Army in 1945. Victor, a 63 -year -old chemist who has lived in Austria for thirty years, said that he came with his son to participate simply To the local version of the “Immortal Regiment”, this Russian procession consisting in parading by brandishing the portrait of a dead ancestor during the Second World War.

Gathered before Saint-Etienne cathedral, there were several hundred Russians to brandish nationalist or Soviet Russian flags, to support without hesitation “the military operation” in Ukraine, even if the subject was avoided in the gallery. Faced with them, several dozen Ukrainians tried to disturb the commemoration, while the majority of passers -by could not help watching this procession with fruition, or even with a frank disapproval. “Putin fucked,” screaming some, “Ukrainian whores”, replied the others, under the protection of an Austrian police who was very docile with the Russian order. In a leaflet distributed to passers -by, the Russians warned that it was forbidden to “whistle” or even “jump”, because “it is a practice of neonazi groups in Ukraine”. = “Data: Image/SVG+XML,%3CSVG%20xmlns = ‘http: //’%20viewbox=’0%200%20664%20443’%3e%3C/svg%3e “Data-Srcset =” 1328W, https:/ / 664W “Data-Sizes =” (Min-Width: 768px) 664px, 100vw “alt =” Dmitri Ljubinski, Russian ambassador to Austria, deposits a wreath before the Red Army Memorial, in Vienna, May 9, 2022. ” Width = “664” height = “443”> Dmitri Ljubinski, Russian ambassador to Austria, deposits a wreath in front of the Red Army Memorial, in Vienna, May 9, 2022. Jean-Baptiste Chastand for the world

Like all the capitals of Central Europe released by the Red Army in 1945, Vienne certainly had to compose on Monday with the traditional Russian commemorations of 9-Mayi In the midst of Ukraine war. But the Austrian position was particularly difficult to hold for a country which cannot give the impression of criticizing the liberators of Nazism, which is still “militarily neutral” and which has long maintained close ties with Moscow. To prevent Russian nationalist rallies, pro-Ukrainian activists had judiciously declared wanting to occupy Sunday 8 and Monday 9 the gigantic red army memorial installed on the outskirts of the city center.

Although the disinvited of the various official commemorations of the Second World War, the Russian ambassador, accompanied by representatives of a handful of formerly satellite countries in the USSR (Belarus, Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan, Armenia, etc.), is however managed to deposit a wreath under high police protection. Several dozen pro-Ukrainian activists have been kept at a distance. “We had reserved the location; but the Austrian police replied that we could not use it on May 9 in the morning. They acted under pressure from Russia,” said Andry Karioti, a Ukrainian student in sport established for several years in Vienna and leader of the movement.

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/Media reports.