The Berlin police have banned the display of Russian and Ukrainian flags near Soviet memorials in Treptow, Tiergarten, and Schönholzer Heide on May 8 and 9.
This was reported by the Berliner Morgenpost.
These two days mark the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. In order to ensure "a worthy commemoration of the memory of the fallen soldiers of the then Soviet army," the performance of marches and military songs is also prohibited around the three memorials, the police said on Friday.
In addition, it is also forbidden to "utter slogans that, due to the current situation, can be taken as approval, glorification or glorification of the war in Ukraine".
A similar ban on flags already existed last year. Back then, it drew much criticism from the Ukrainian side, particularly from the then-Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk.
According to the Senate's own statement, it wanted to ensure that the commemoration of the victims of World War II was not overshadowed by possible conflicts in connection with the current war in Ukraine.
The police in their statement on Friday made similar arguments: "The act of remembrance and respect for these monuments and memorials must be preserved against the backdrop of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war. This war should not go beyond the scope of democratic discourse in Berlin, especially given the symbolic date," the statement reads.
As in the previous year, the bans do not apply to diplomats and World War II veterans.
Author - Olena Madiak, 05/05/2023