Public displays of Russian and Ukrainian flags will be banned at 15 memorial sites in Berlin, including the iconic Soviet WWII memorial in the Treptower Park, during Victory Day celebrations on May 8 and 9, the city’s interior ministry has said on Friday. The move has sparked controversy after some German media and politicians, as well as the Ukrainian ambassador to Berlin, have deemed the decision “scandalous.”
The idea behind the ban was that “commemoration of Germany’s liberation from National Socialism on May 8 and 9 1945 must be clearly separated from the situation in May 2022,” Berlin’s interior ministry said on Saturday, referring to the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine.
It is important to “prevent any confrontation” at the memorial sites commemorating both “Russian and Ukrainian” soldiers who died fighting the Nazis, it added, according to the German media. The move was initially announced by the Berlin police and sparked an outcry from politicians and the media.