Ukraine’s “Embroidered” Megamarch in Odessa… or How to Convince Themselves Odessa Is Not Russian, but Ukrainian

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By Angelina Siard for Fort Russ

22nd May, 2016

On 21st May, the 8th, but certainly not the last, “embroidered” Megamarch took place in Odessa gathering 1,500 participants. According to the organizers, the action should pretend to be completely apolitical. But members of the presidential party were spotted with agitprop for “Solidarity” with the “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko”, as well as members of the group “Right sector” with red/black flags, and national symbols of Crimean Tatars.

And, as has long been customary in a democratic European Ukraine, the embroidered festive rent-a-crowd were herded from the surrounding area and western Ukraine, excited by their own “greatness”, joyfully shouting the conditioned ritualised choruses and jumping in unison: 

“Odessa is Ukraine!”, “Donbass is Ukraine”, “Glory to Ukraine — Glory to Heroes”, “Glory to the heroes of 2nd May”, “Heavenly Hundred, glory, glory, glory”, “Wear embroidery if you love your native land”, “Moldavanka and Peresyp — embroider all of Odessa”, “Ukraine above all”, and “Whoever doesn’t jump is a Moskal”.

My question is: When you know you are Italian, German, Japanese, Russian, or English, do you really feel the need to dress in traditional clothing, to go out in your city with your dog, also dressed in traditional clothing, and start shouting and screaming that your city has the same nationality as you…?

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