German states will continue rhetoric supporting Russian invasion of Ukraine
A number of German states have banned public postings of the letter Zwhich has become a symbol for supporters of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The states of Berlin, Saxony, Bavaria and Lower Saxony will prosecute people who publicly display the letter. Baden WUrttemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt are also considering implementing their own bans.
“The Russian attack on Ukraine is a crime and anyone who publicly approves of this war can be criminally responsible for it,” he added. mentioned Marek Wede, spokesperson for the German Ministry of the Interior. German law prohibits public support of illegal acts. Those found guilty could face penalties ranging from a fine to three years in prison.
The letter Z Have beenn painted on russian tanks and personnel carriers since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Some Russian civilians are also said to have painted the symbol on their cars, and a Russian gymnast donned the symbol on his uniform during a podium ceremony at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha, Qatar. The Russian Defense Ministry says the symbol stands for “za pobedu”, which means “for victory”.
In end of MarchUkrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter: “I call on all states to criminalize the use of the ‘Z’ symbol as a means of publicly supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. ‘Z’ stands for Russian war crimes, cities bombed, thousands of Ukrainians murdered. Public support for this barbarism must be banned.”
Critics of Germany’s efforts to extend its restrictions on so-called hate speech and certain types of political speech say the Z the ban is both illiberal and unnecessary for Ukraine.
“Of course, it’s unfortunate that some people choose to defend or support Putin’s attack on a sovereign nation. But no one, not even our politicians, can seriously believe that banning the ‘Z’ symbol will change them. On the contrary, it is likely to embolden supporters of Russia, who already claim to feel victimized by the West,” wrote Sabine Beppler-Spahl, chairwoman of German liberal think tank Freiblickinstitut, in Sharp.
“Furthermore, pro-Russian protesters can now accuse Germany of hypocrisy. After all, the same German politicians who frequently attack Russia’s crackdown on dissent are now cracking down on dissent in Germany.”