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Law enforcement officials in Germany have warned residents attending the Victory Day military parade celebrations in Berlin, commemorating the end of World War II, not to bring Ukrainian or Russian flags, said Berlin authorities.
In a statement on Friday, authorities in Berlin said they did not want discord among their European neighbors to impact their country’s politics on the 77th anniversary of the end of the war.
Interior Senator Iris Spranger echoed that sentiment, adding: “It is important to prevent provocations and escalations,” RND reported.
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“The act of remembrance as well as respect for memorials and monuments must be preserved in the context of Russia’s current war of aggression in Ukraine,” Berlin police said. “The war must not be allowed to spill over into conflicts or disputes in Berlin beyond democratic discourse.”
Ukrainian and Russian flags will also be banned from local monuments depicting Russia’s defeat by the Nazi Germans.
“We will protect the worthy commemoration of 15 memorials and monuments with comprehensive regulations designed to prevent confrontation at these sites,” said Chief of Police Barbara Slowik, who also announced the ban on military music. “At the same time, we are taking action against any form of support, endorsement or even glorification of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, especially at rallies.”
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Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk expressed frustration with the ban, calling it a “slap in the face”.
“We are shocked that the Berlin police banned the wearing of Ukraine-related flags on May 8 and 9,” Melnyk told RND. “It’s a slap in the face for Ukraine and a slap in the face for the Ukrainian people,” the ambassador continued.
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Melnyk added: “That the public wearing of the Ukrainian flag in the federal capital is prohibited, as is the Russian flag, under which the worst war crimes are being committed day and night against the Ukrainian civilian population and tens of thousands of Ukrainians, women, and children, being murdered in cold blood, is a huge scandal.It not only shows a lack of tact, but it is also a catastrophic political decision.