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Western Ukrainians hold patriotic Christmas celebration

Friday, January 09, 2015 - 01:26

Residents of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv and people displaced from the east take part in a traditional Christmas procession with a patriotic twist. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Hundreds line the streets in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, to take part in an annual Orthodox Christmas procession and pageant. This year its a celebration with a message of patriotism as conflict continues in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops. At the nativity scene, men dressed as Ukrainian guards protect the holy family from a King Herod character meant to look like Russian President Vladimir Putin. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) NATIVITY SCENE ACTOR, IVAN MAZUR, SAYING: "I'm playing a Ukrainian soldier, It's almost the same people who were guarding Jesus a long time ago. And now they are guarding us." Displaced people from the east stage their own rendition of the nativity with a similar theme. In their version, a man dressed in a martial arts uniform is flanked by men dressed as separatists. Putin is a black belt in judo. He is attacked by the angel of death. Parts of the East and West fining unity in a common enemy on Christmas.

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Western Ukrainians hold patriotic Christmas celebration

Friday, January 09, 2015 - 01:26