25 February 2020
According to organizers, the pageant intends to show that "all the children in this world are united, they are friends". Photo: Daily Mail
According to organizers, the pageant intends to show that "all the children in this world are united, they are friends". Photo: Daily Mail

Girls and guns in Russian fashion show on Ukraine conflict

Fashion and politics are not exactly strange bedfellows, but allowing very young girls to hold guns as they strut on the runway, and point the weapons at each other or at their own heads, is a bit too much. It’s sick.

But that’s exactly what happened at a recent children’s fashion show in Moscow, where the spotlight was on the conflict in Ukraine, according to Daily Mail.

The models, aged 10 to 12, parade outfits in colors representing the major nations with matching exotic hats.

Nine countries are included — Britain, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. 

But the star of the show is Miss Ukraine. Dressed in the country’s blue and yellow colors, she walks to the center of the stage, brandishing a pistol. She then points the weapon at two other girls representing the US and Russia. 

And if that’s not shocking enough, she points her gun at her head.

The other models try to restrain her — but not before parading their own clothes on the runway and pointing their guns at the audience.

The show concludes with Miss Ukraine clasping hands with the models of Russia and USA in a show of reconciliation and peace.

If the narrative of the show is a bit askew for many viewers, that’s because it follows the Kremlin line on the raging conflict in Eastern Europe. 

Western nations have imposed sanctions against Russia for its annexation of the Crimea and for supporting insurgents in eastern Ukraine. But Russian leader Vladimir Putin is trying to project the image of Ukraine as the aggressor in the conflict.

And with his stranglehold on his country’s media, that’s how many Russians view the crisis: Ukraine is slaughtering its own people, and other nations must save them. 

Child designer Alita Andrishevskaya, who also plays Miss Russia, sees nothing wrong with the pageant, saying its theme is “children of the world against war”.

During the presentation, an announcer notes that the collection intends to show that “all the children in this world are united, they are friends”.

The theme is indeed praiseworthy: Who doesn’t like peace? But if anything, the presentation shows how much Putin’s propaganda has pervaded Russia.

The show came under heavy fire on social media, where netizens denounced the use of guns and children to manipulate the truth about the Ukrainian crisis.

“Russia has pulled children into its dirty political plays! Russia, you are sick,” says one online comment.

“You go astray, grown-ups. Leave the kids alone,” says another.

Indeed, why let the children be among the casualties of war?

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Miss Ukraine points a gun at her head, while other models try to restrain her. Photo: Daily Mail