There will be strict restrictions as long as demonstrations in Berlin are reported to be on May 8 and 9. It will be banned for uniforms and uniform parts, military marches and songs, and present the letter “Z” as an expression of support for Russia’s war of aggression. Neither Russian nor Ukrainian flags will be allowed on the 15 memorial sites and monuments.
Ukrainian Ambassador: “We are shocked”
Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk reacts to the ban on the Ukrainian flag. “We were surprised that the Berlin police prohibited the raising of the flag with the Ukrainian context on May 8 and 9,” Melnyk told the RND news network on Friday evening (6 May 2022). This, he added, was “a slap in the face of Ukraine and a blow in the face of the Ukrainian people.”
On Twitter, he called on the mayor of Berlin, Francizka Giffey, to reverse the “disgraceful decision”.
Berlin: only 15 seats
After Melnyk’s reaction, the Berlin Senate administration clarified that the Ukrainian flag is generally allowed in public places on Sundays and Mondays in Berlin. The restrictions imposed by police apply to 15 select memorial sites and are intended to allow for “dignified and peaceful commemoration,” the Senate Department of Home Affairs announced Saturday, May 7.
“No military flags or symbols may be used on this memorial site.” World War II veterans and ambassadors and their delegates are exempt. As noted, the Berlin police will also ensure that during pro-Russian events “even outside the memorial sites” there is no public support for a war of aggression against Ukraine.
“Prevent any confrontation”
About 50 events related to the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II were reported in Berlin. Three Soviet monuments and other “objects of importance” will be specially protected now, Berlin Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger, announced days ago.
In essence, as the interior department of the Berlin Senate pointed out, the anniversaries of May 8 and 9, 1945, the liberation from National Socialism, must be “clearly separated” from the May situation of this year. At the memorial site where Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are buried, “all confrontation must be avoided.”
On Sunday and Monday, some 3,400 officers will ensure security during demonstrations in the German capital.
On May 8, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender. In Russia, on the other hand, Victory Day is traditionally celebrated on May 9.
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