Tributes to Putin and Dukina
Serbia is a bastion of Russia’s loyalists in Europe
Serbia is a staunchly pro-Russian island in the middle of Europe. Demonstrators and football fans made that clear once again over the weekend.
Demonstration rally in Belgrade on Sunday. Protesters hold a giant Putin flag in anger at an LGBTQ event.
Europe marks the distance between Russia and warlord Vladimir Putin (69). Nowhere was anti-Russian fervor greater than in the former Eastern bloc states of the Soviet empire. Old Soviet monuments are currently being demolished between the Baltic and the Balkans. There is one island in Europe that is loyal to Russia and Putin: Serbia.
The Serbians proved it once again at the weekend. Demonstrators marched through Belgrade with a large Putin flag. It was a protest march against a planned LGBTQ event that was supposed to take place in the Serbian capital from September 12-18, 2022.
The government and officials feared clashes with right-wing extremist groups. The international event – a demonstration of liberal Western values - was cancelled. At the moment, Serbia is asserting itself as a kind of pro-Russian island in the middle of a hostile European region. Russians are also granted visa-free entry. Additionally, Belgrade refuses to join the sanctions against Russia.
Dukina tribute from Serbian fans
Soccer fans made it clear over the weekend which side many Serbs are on in the Ukraine conflict. Red Star Belgrade fans unfurled a large banner at the stadium that read “Darya Dukina – Eternal Memory”. Dukina († 29), daughter of journalist and nationalist ideologue Alexander Dukin (60), was assassinated on August 20 in a suburb of Moscow.
Videos posted on social media show her singing “Katyusha”. The Russian folk song became a popular patriotic act when the German Wehrmacht attacked the Soviet Union. The song remained popular after World War II. In the GDR, “Katjuska” was firmly in the anti-fascist repertoire.
Today “Katyusha” is chanted by Red Star Belgrade fans. In general, the club and its supporters have presented themselves as champions of Russian values since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. For example, in July, Belgrade hosted a friendly match against Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg. “Clash of the Champions” is a sign that Serbian clubs do not want to hear about sanctions against Russian football teams. Clubs such as Zenit and the Russian national team have been excluded from European competitions.
However, Red Star Belgrade has decided to end its sponsorship with Russian energy giant Gazprom. (case)
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