Russian and Soviet flags are banned on Tuesday from the area around the Soviet Memorial in Tiergarten, central Berlin, the German capital’s top administrative court confirmed on Monday.
The court thus overturned a decision by the administrative court that had itself upended a ban on such flags on the occasion of the commemoration of the German surrender at the end of World War II, on 8-9 May 1945.
Russian and Soviet flags, as well as the St George’s ribbons, made up of three black stripes and regularly flown in Russia to commemorate the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, are thus banned around the memorial in the Tiergarten Park.
Ukrainian flags, initially banned by police, will be allowed, the Berlin administrative court ruled. There was no appeal against that decision.
“The police’s prognosis that the (Russian) symbols are likely to convey violence in view of the ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine proves to be well-founded,” the top court justified in its decision.
“In the current context, they could in any case be understood as a manifestation of sympathy for the conduct of the war,” added the court.
The decision was welcomed by Berlin police, who mobilised their members en masse to prevent any outbursts on Tuesday.
A rally of Russian motorcyclists from the 'Night Wolves' club, Kremlin loyalists who left Moscow at the end of April, is expected to take place in the German capital.
Several rally participants waved Russian and Soviet flags as they left Moscow on 29 April. Some stuck the letter “Z” on their bikes, symbolising the 'Russian special military operation' launched in Ukraine in February 2022.