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Crimean legislators speak up against turning ‘polite people’ into commercial brand

November 13, 2015, 18:54 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

"Thanks to them (the ‘polite people’) all of us here are still alive and that’s why to exploit the notion as a pure trademark is inadmissible," a local legislator says

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© Alexandr Ryumin/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, November 13. /TASS/. A group of legislators from Crimea has spoken up against the commercial use of the ‘polite people’ notion, which is firmly associated here with the moves to assist Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014.

"I personally think it’s wrong to turn ‘polite people’ into a brand and a trademark," legislator Valery Aksyonov said at a news conference on Friday. "I think we’ll ask the Defense Ministry, which Voyentorg (the system of post exchanges in the Russian Armed Forces — TASS) reports to, to stop this."

"There’s no turning the patriotic theme into commerce," Aksyonov said. "It’s rather unpatriotic to put such labels on overcoats."

Svetlana Savchenko, the chief of the committee for culture and protection of cultural heritage in the Crimean legislature supported Aksyonov. "Thanks to them (the ‘polite people’) all of us here are still alive and that’s why to exploit the notion as a pure trademark is inadmissible," she said.

Voyentorg obtained a patent for the ‘polite people’ phrase and began to use it on its products at the end of 2014. Clothes where the phrase is combined with the profile of a helmeted man with a Kalashnikov in his arms and a cat sitting nearby enjoy particular popularity with the customers.

In October 2015, Voyentorg opened a store at Simferopol international airport.

Crimean legislators said on Friday they had begun to raise funds to a monument to ‘polite people’. They think Voyentorg, too, should take part in sponsoring the project.

"If someone made known his or her readiness to start up this brand commercially, then I think they should help with erecting the monument, in the first place," Svetlana Savchenko said.

All in all, installation of the monument will require 2 million rubles.

The phrase ‘polite people’ has come to denote the Russian servicemen who were in Crimea during preparations for a referendum on the self-determination of the peninsula in March 2014. They guarded the vital facilities, the polling stations and governmental buildings in the Republic of Crimea.

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