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Berlin Makes an attempt to Ban Russian Flags on Victory Day, Prompting Authorized Tussle


A Berlin court docket on Monday upheld a police ban on Russian and Soviet flags and different symbols at this week’s Victory Day celebrations, which commemorate the tip of World Battle II in Europe.

In Berlin, the Victory celebration spans two days. Late on Could 8, 1945, Nazi Germany signed its capitulation in Berlin. Due to the time distinction, Russia celebrates the victory in opposition to fascism on Could 9.

Within the years previous to Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Berliners and Russians within the metropolis would collect at main monuments. However now, the monuments have develop into staging factors for pro-Russian activists.

Though a majority of Germans assist Ukraine, a vocal minority again Moscow, together with members of the big Russian diaspora in addition to far-right activists.

Final week, the Berlin police introduced a ban on symbols, uniforms, songs and flags that may very well be seen to assist Russia’s invasion throughout Victory Day commemorations, citing the danger of violence. The measure, much like one instituted final yr, utilized to a few main memorial occasions on Monday and Tuesday.

The ban initially included Ukrainian flags, chants and navy songs, however a court docket ruling overturned these restrictions after a public outcry, and the police opted to not problem that call. Professional-Russian activists then went to court docket and obtained an injunction to permit the show of Russian symbols, together with flags.

However on Monday a better court docket overturned that ruling and reinstated the ban on Russian and Soviet symbols, based on DPA, the German information service.

For years, the annual commemorations at Berlin’s main Soviet memorials ranged from somber to boisterous, and featured many Russian and Soviet flags, uniforms and ribbons. Final yr, amid the restrictions on symbols and songs, the celebrations had been muted.

The police have stated they are going to have as much as 1,500 officers prepared to reply throughout Victory Day celebrations this yr.

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