'Warmongers' Projected on Side of U.S. Embassy Building in Moscow

A video displayed on the side of America's diplomatic building in Moscow showed images of children killed in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine, as the projection said their blood was "on the hands of U.S. warmongers."

The grim video was cast on the U.S. embassy to coincide with Children's Day, a June 1 holiday celebrated in former Soviet countries intended to honor youth and call out child abuse. Russian state media shared the video, which was displayed as Moscow seeks greater control over a region of eastern Ukraine and to drum up support for its war, now more than 3 months old.

The video stated that the U.S. military "bears full responsibility for all the dead children of (Donbas)," according to state-run RIA Novosti news agency. The unnamed organizers of the stunt told state media they hoped the video would serve as a reminder of the U.S. military's backing of Ukraine's pro-Western government, which Russian officials have sought to depict as "Nazis."

In addition to the images of children, the video projected onto the wall of the U.S. embassy showed videos of President Joe Biden meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has relied on Western powers for military aid against Russia's invasion.

U.S. Embassy in Moscow
On June 1, Children's Day, a video was projected on the side of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, blaming America for the deaths of children in eastern Ukraine. Above, the embassy is shown on March 18, 2021. Yuri KADOBNOV/Getty Images

"The blood of Donbas children is on the hands of U.S. warmongers," reads the text on one of the projected images, according to The Moscow Times.

After failing to capture the Ukrainian capital city Kyiv and seeing setbacks elsewhere, Russian forces have turned to the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine. Separatists in the region have been battling Ukrainian forces since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is now hoping to seize control of eastern Ukraine's breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which have large populations of ethnic Russians. Control of the area is expected to play a central role in Moscow's justification that it needed to invade Ukraine to "de-Nazify" the former Soviet republic and bring "liberation" to the region's Russian-speaking population.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Newsweek earlier that capturing one oblast, or administrative district, in eastern Ukraine is "crucial" for Moscow's propaganda efforts as it continues its offensive.

According to RIA Novosti, the Russian Ministry of Defense has stated that the main tasks of its military operation against Ukraine have been completed, weakening its military potential. The ministry, according to the Russian news agency, has also said its main goal has been the "liberation" of the Donbas region.

"The United States respects the right to peaceful assembly and free expression of opinion, even in cases where we do not agree with it," the U.S. embassy told RIA Novosti in a statement reacting to the stunt. "These values ​​are enshrined in our Constitution."

Earlier in May, Moscow's city government asked residents to vote for the name of a square near the U.S. embassy. All three names offered glorified Russian-backed separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Newsweek has reached out to the U.S. State Department.