On August 23, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss Ukraine's place in the context of Europe. She also offered 500 million euros for the reconstruction of the Donbas region. The following day, a military parade was held in Kiev, in which high profile armor and artillery was displayed to crowds. Meanwhile, rebels in Donetsk held a counter march in Donetsk where they paraded their prisoners of war, as onlookers threw trash at the captives.  

Despite the high spirits at the Kiev parade, the display of equipment and artillery was perceived as a slap in the face to those fighting for Ukraine on the frontline - many of who are dying because they don't have the artillery and military equipment they need to put up a fight. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky attended the parade and interviewed members of volunteer battalions, who recounted their experiences on the frontline.  

Follow Simon Ostrovsky on Twitter: @simonostrovsky

Watch all of VICE News' coverage of the conflict in Ukraine here.

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