Russia’s parliament has approved the first reading of a bill that would prohibit the public display of World War II war criminals and the distribution of Nazi imagery after a series of high-profile cases around the country.
In particular, the bill’s authors want to prevent the sale of items with pictures of Nazis. The document notes that the public display of such images is “an insult to the multinational people and the memory of the victims of the Great Patriotic War.”
The bill does, however, provide for some exceptions, such as when such photos are accompanied by “a negative attitude towards the ideology.”
One of the authors, MP Elena Yampolskaya from the ruling United Russia party, revealed that the idea came to her when she saw a Moscow store selling blouses with pictures of Adolf Hitler and other war criminals.
Speaking to Moscow newspaper Kommersant in November, when the bill was first proposed, Yampolskaya explained that the law is being introduced “to prevent any temptation to print stamps or wear T-shirts with a portrait of Hitler – if someone thinks they’re having fun.”
Despite the ban on symbolism, the past year has seen a handful of incidents regarding images of Nazis. In November, the city of Oryol entered the headlines after a kiosk was found flogging souvenir postage stamps featuring Hitler. They were quickly removed from sale.
In May, Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case after pictures of Hitler and SS leader Heinrich Himmler were found on the website of the Immortal Regiment, a movement that celebrates Soviet veterans of World War II.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!