Russians celebrating the Army’s Day holiday paraded through the streets of St. Petersburg this week with a prop “ballistic missile,” threatening to “personally deliver” the missile to American President Barack Obama.
February 23 is also known as Defender of the Fatherland Day, a date meant to commemorate the formation of the Red Army in 1918. The mass celebration died down after the Soviet Union fell, shed “its military flavor,” and instead became a general celebration of men. But the rising tensions between Russia and America saw the military return in the 2015 celebration.
The 2015 celebration turned into a weekend Anti-Maidan rally, a take on the three-month EuroMaidan protests in Ukraine that led to the ouster of Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych on February 22. While the West has claimed to back Ukraine, it has delivered minimal material support to the Ukrainian army on the ground. Despite what Ukrainians have objected to as insufficient support, some Russians, Forbes reports, told journalists that, to them, it was “the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-backed fascist coup in Ukraine.” Russians marched down Moscow with a fake ballistic missile that said “to be personally delivered to Obama.”
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) February 23, 2015
People also posted pictures of Russians in St. Petersburg providing military education to kindergarten aged kids.
Russian army day 23th Feb. AntiUkrainian & military education of kids in Russian kindergarten – @ZombieTVonline pic.twitter.com/7Xzw5ORFS9
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) February 24, 2015
The West continues to assert diplomatic means, mainly with sanctions, are the only way to solve the war in east Ukraine. The United States did not even attend the second Minsk conference in early February. Polls in Russia show that “80% of Russians have a negative attitude toward the U.S., the highest number since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”