A children's fashion show in Moscow triggered outrage among bloggers after the show, titled "Children of the World Against War," depicted a child dressed up as Ukraine holding a gun to her head.
The organizers of the show, held Tuesday in Moscow's Gostiny Dvor as part of the "Chapeau 2014" exhibition, said in an introduction to the performance that it was "not at all political." A video of the show went viral, however, and prompted harsh criticism and accusations of propaganda.
The "Children of the World Against War" fashion show featured young girls dressed up in costumes representing various countries, all of them equipped with model handguns. While the young models representing France, Britain, Germany, the U.S. and Italy pointed their guns at the audience to a soundtrack reminiscent of gunshots, the model representing Ukraine pointed her gun at herself as if attempting suicide, the video shows.
At that point, the other models motioned at her to stop, and another young model dressed as an angel took away all the countries' guns.
Diplomatic ties between Russia, Ukraine and the West are currently at a post-Soviet low amid the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The designer of the hats featured in the show, 10-year-old Alita Andrishevskaya, posted a photo of all the different "countries" holding hands on social networking site Vkontakte with the caption: "This is how it should be."
Some bloggers have expressed skepticism that the performance was orchestrated by Andrishevskaya, however.
Ulyana Bryut, a PR director who attended the event, described her shock on Facebook.
"Tell me, could a 10-year-old child do such a thing without the help of adults? No. Everyone understands this. … Cheap PR is disgusting, and cheap PR with children is vile and detestable," Bryut wrote.
A request for comment and call to the show's organizers at the Kordon exhibition company went unanswered by the time of publication.