Stay classy, Ukraine
This article originally appeared at The Moscow Times
A group of schoolchildren in southeastern Ukraine has prompted an outcry after selling items with creative names such as "Blood of Russian Children" and "Tanks to Moscow" at a charity bake sale organized to raise funds for Ukrainian troops.
The baked goods, prepared by the schoolchildren with the help of their parents and activists from the "Family Community" group, carried special thematic names in order to attract attention to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian news site Inshe.tv reported.
Guests were offered treats called "[Russian lawmaker Vladimir] Zhirinovsky's brain," "Tanks to Moscow," "Yellow-and-Blue Stars on the Kremlin," — in an apparent reference to a Ukrainian takeover of Russia's center of government — and then drinks called "Blood of Russian Children" to wash it all down.
Ukraine has been a divided country ever since the ousting of former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February and Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea a month later. The West and the new Kiev government have accused Russia of supporting separatists in the country's eastern Donbass region with military aid — a claim Moscow denies.
Online news site LifeNews cited the Ukrainian schoolchildren as saying their teacher had helped them come up with the "fun names" for the baked goods.
The fundraising event, called "Give a Soldier Warmth," was part of a series of bake sales held at various schools to raise money to buy thermal clothing for Ukrainian troops, the report said. More than 5,000 hryvnas ($323) was collected at the latest bake sale, held on Dec. 4 in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.
The bake sale also saw the student who presented the best treats given a flag signed by Ukrainian fighters who battled pro-Russian separatists at the Donetsk Airport, Inshe.tv reported.
Photos and video of the event published by the Russian media over the weekend triggered an outcry among many Russian commentators.
"In Donbass they're killing children, and in peaceful territories they're killing the souls of children," one Russian commentator wrote on state new agency RIA Novosti's website.