Germany sought to prevent anti-Russia sentiments from spilling over into the Victory in Europe celebrations over the weekend by imposing a ban on displaying Ukraine’s flag. Footage has emerged showing Berlin police seizing a large flag about to be paraded across the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten commemorating soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin. Demonstrators could be seen relinquishing the banner to the officers, who proceeded to scrunch it up and removed it ahead of the memorial service.
Berlin Police said they were banning all Russian and Ukrainian flags as well as military music from being included in the event.
In a statement, they said: “The act of remembering, as well as the respect for memorials and monuments, must be preserved against the background of Russia’s current war of aggression in Ukraine.
“The war must not be allowed to spill over into conflicts or disputes in Berlin beyond the democratic discourse.”
But the decision sparked the fury of Ukraine’s Ambassador to Berlin, Andrij Melnyk, who branded the move a “slap in the face” of all Ukrainians.
JUST IN: ‘Blood on your hands’ Putin humiliated as Russian state TV Victory Day coverage HIJACKED
Mr Melnyk said: “This not only shows a lack of tact; it is a catastrophic political decision.”
Germany has already come under pressure over its close ties with Moscow, and its high dependency on Russian gas.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged all support available to Kyiv, making moves to legislate to end Germany’s gas imports agreements with Russia.
However, Mr Scholz’s commitment has been questioned after reports emerged last month claiming he had refused to offer up key military equipment to Ukraine.
READ MORE: Putin left devastated as Russian invaders obliterated in rare aerial frontline footage
During his annual Victory Day parade on Monday, Vladimir Putin maintained Russia was pushed into launching a “special military operation” in Ukraine to protect its borders.
He claimed closer relations with NATO defied previous arrangements Kyiv agreed to and insisted Russian soldiers are seeking to “denazify” the neighbouring nation.
Far and extreme right parties in Ukraine secured less than two percent of the vote in 2019, the same year President Zelensly, who is himself of Jewish descent, was elected.