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LVOV, April 28 (Itar-Tass) — City hall of the West-Ukrainian city of Lvov, widely known as a mainstay of rightwing Ukrainian nationalism, encroached on a number of Ukrainian laws when it banned the displays of the Red Banner symbolizing the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, says a public prosecutor’s protest submitted to the city hall Saturday.
The press service of the regional Prosecutor’s Office recalled in this connection that the Lvov city hall had passed a similar decision in 2011 when it “banned the public display of the Red Banner, the state symbols of the USSR as a state that has ceased to exist, the symbols of Communism and Nazism.”
The ban was mitigated by the Galitsky district court in Lvov later.
“Lvov city hall deputies have once again trespassed the limits of their powers, as they adopted a decision standing at variance with Ukrainian laws, including the Law on Commemorating Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941 to 1945,” the prosecutorial note of protest said.
“The law says in bold relief the Red Banner is a symbol of the Soviet people’s victory in a war against Nazi Germany and its design should be identical with the assault banner of the 150th Idritsky Rifle Division,” the Prosecutor’s Office said.
It demanded that Lvov Mayor Andrei Sadovy impose his veto on the decision and said it would file a petition with the court should the city authorities turn the note of protest down.
Ukraine’s Anti-Fascist Committee has appealed to President Viktor Yanukovich “to bring the situation in the Ukrainian city back to order.” It also demanded that the Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament, “examine the activity of the city hall, which commits regular encroachments on Ukrainian legislation and the Constitution and /consider measures/ up to its dissolution.”
In the meantime, the forces of law and order in Lvov are bracing themselves for possible actions May 9, the date that is observed in most former Soviet republics as Victory Day.
The police will try to prevent a replay of the events that occurred in Lvov May 9, 2011, when groups of Ukrainian nationalists disrupted the official celebrations of Victory Day and clubbed World War II veterans, who had fought on the Soviet Army’s side.
A repetition of last year’s street scuffles would be highly detrimental for Ukraine’s image on the eve of the UEFA Euro-2012 championship, which Ukraine co-hosts together with Poland.