Russia have sparked claims of "child abuse" after nursery school kids were dressed as soldiers and tanks with the infamous Z symbol to mark Victory Day.
Footage broadcast on Russian TV shows smiling teachers guiding the youngsters, who appear confused, as the country celebrated victory over Nazi Germany on Monday (May 9).
Some pupils wore Soviet-era soldier uniforms while others were dressed up as fighter planes emblazoned with the Red Star.
Adding a modern twist, some children were dressed as tanks bearing the ‘Z’ logo, a popular propaganda symbol used by the Kremlin during its invasion of Ukraine.
The move was labelled "child abuse" by journalist, author and Putin expert Shaun Walker on Twitter.
Despite predictions of a fiery Victory Day speech, President Putin was somewhat muted on Monday morning.
He attempted to justify the attack on Ukraine by drawing parallels with the Soviet Union’s struggle against Hitler’s Germany but stopped short of announcing any major new escalation of the conflict.
Instead, by focusing on what he claimed was a Ukrainian plan for a major crackdown on Russian communities in the Donbas region, he appeared to be preparing the ground for a limited occupation of just that area and abandoning his wider claims on Ukrainian territory.
Terrifying 'stray lion' spotted on the loose as armed officers rush to the scene
For more incredible stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.
"You are fighting for our people in Donbas, for the security of our motherland, its future," he said.
However, some Russians tuning in to watch the parade on TV may have been met with a very different message.
The BBC's Francis Scarr reports that the name of every show had been changed to "On your hands is the blood of thousands of Ukrainians and their hundreds of murdered children. TV and the authorities are lying. No to war".
Source: Read Full Article