News from Russia: Kremlin chief calls for abandoning the tricolor for the Soviet red flag | World | News

The red Soviet flag, famous for its hammer and sickle, was last lowered in December 1995 upon the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Sheremet, deputy of the Russian State Duma, called for the reappearance of the red communist symbol on the current flag of the Russian Federation.

Calling the Soviet image a “flag of victory”, he said the change would “remind” the West of “the greatness of our nation”.

He said, “Western countries are afraid, they have declared war on the victory banner, because the red victory flag reminds them of our nation’s greatness and our victory.”

There have been scattered reports of Soviet flags appearing in Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory since Russian forces invaded in February.

Historian Anne Applebaum said today’s Russian forces have “strange” echoes of the Soviet Red Army and the NKVD, 20th century Russia’s secret police.

She told the Guardian: “They are eradicating local symbols – statues, flags, monuments – and erecting their own.”

But the Soviet flags are a “new twist” in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she added.

She described, “Because modern Russia represents nothing but Putin’s corruption, nihilism and personal power, they brought back Soviet flags as well as statues of Lenin to symbolize Russian victory.”

Yurii Sobolevskyi, from the regional council of the Ukrainian city of Kherson, called the reappearance of communist-era symbology in the southern city a “return to the past”.

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“But the occupants don’t understand.

“Therefore, the ‘show of the USSR’ will continue until the Ukrainian armed forces liberate our territory.”

The re-emergence of Soviet symbols has been seen right in the heart of the Russian capital itself, after the mayor of Moscow announced he would revive the old Soviet car, the Moskvitch.

French automaker Renault has divested its assets in Russia, also giving up its majority stake in Avtovaz, which makes Lada.

But Mayor Sergei Sobyanon said Renault’s main plant in Moscow would be repurposed to restart production of the Soviet-era symbol, the Moskvitch car.

Mr. Sobyanin said: “I have decided to list the plant as a city asset and resume production under the historic Moskvitch brand.”

He added that he would retain “most” of the plant’s employees and contractors.

He said: “We will open a new page in the history of Moskvitch in 2022.”

Moskvitch, which was seen all over the Soviet Union in its heyday, was declared bankrupt in 2006 after 75 years of producing cars.

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