A authorized tussle was unfolding in Berlin on Monday over an try by the police within the German capital to ban Russian flags at Victory Day celebrations this week.
Earlier than Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Berliners and Russians would collect on the metropolis’s monuments to commemorate Victory Day, the Could 9 vacation in Russia that marks the Soviet overcome Nazi Germany. However because the begin of the invasion, the monuments have turn into staging factors for pro-Russian activists.
Though a majority of Germans help Ukraine in its protection towards Russia’s invasion, a vocal minority — which incorporates members of the massive Russian diaspora in addition to far-right activists — vocally help Moscow.
Final week, the Berlin police introduced a ban on symbols, uniforms, songs and flags that could possibly be seen to help Russia’s invasion throughout Victory Day commemorations, citing the chance of violence. The measure, just like one instituted final 12 months, utilized to a few main memorial occasions on Monday and Tuesday.
The ban initially included Ukrainian flags, chants and navy songs, however after a public outcry, a court docket ruling overturned these restrictions. The police introduced on Friday that it could not search to problem that call.
However then pro-Russian activists went to court docket and obtained an injunction to permit the show of Russian symbols, together with flags.
The Berlin police mentioned on Sunday that it could battle that ruling in the next court docket. For now, each Russian and Ukrainian symbols shall be allowed.
The police have mentioned they are going to have as much as 1,500 officers prepared to reply throughout Victory Day celebrations.
For years, the annual commemorations at Berlin’s major Soviet memorials ranged from somber to boisterous, that includes many Russian and Soviet flags, uniforms and Saint Georg Ribbons. Final 12 months, amid the restrictions on symbols and songs, the celebrations had been muted.