Latest news

Germany and Estonia Ban Pro-Russian Symbols Ahead of WWII Commemorations

Germany and Estonia Ban Pro-Russian Symbols Ahead of WWII Commemorations
Motorcycles decorated with a Russian flag and a flag with the letter Z, in support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Source: Natalia Kolesnikova)

As Europe prepares to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War II, Germany and Estonia are taking a strong stance against displays of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In Berlin, a series of events are planned for May 8th and 9th, including wreath-laying ceremonies at Soviet memorials and rallies near landmarks. However, German authorities are determined to prevent these commemorations from becoming a platform for pro-war displays. A strict ban has been imposed on Russian flags, military uniforms, posters with the letters V or Z, and any other symbols seen as glorifying Russia’s aggression. Additionally, Russian military marches and songs are prohibited near the Soviet memorials.

Estonia is taking similar steps. Police have announced a ban on public gatherings on May 9 that involve the use of symbols associated with the aggressor state or expressions of support for Russia’s war crimes, as May 9 holds significance for both remembering World War II and the Soviet occupation of Estonia.

This ban extends to displays of hatred and incitement. Estonian authorities will not register any gatherings deemed to violate these restrictions.

Similarly, in Moldova, authorities have issued warnings against the use of St. George’s Ribbons and symbols associated with Russian aggression, with penalties looming for violators.

Meanwhile, the State Security Department (DSD) of Lithuania does not rule out the possibility of provocations from the Russian Federation in the country on May 9. Latvian law enforcement and security agencies have promised to take very seriously the preparations for May 9 this year.

See all