Nizhny Novgorod officials see no ill intent in Victory Day buttons with Soviet symbols and swastika
After a local resident noticed a souvenir shop in Nizhny Novgorod selling buttons that appeared to feature a red star and the ribbon of St. George crushing a swastika, regional officials have stepped in. The vice governor of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Dmitry Krasnov, called the buttons an “unsuccessful use of sensitive symbols” but saw no ill intent in the souvenirs, Lenta.ru reported. Nonetheless, the buttons were confiscated, and law enforcement officials have begun a procedural test at the shop that sold them. Krasnov emphasized that souvenir retailers should be particularly mindful of the content of their goods in advance of Victory Day (May 9), when Russians will celebrate the defeat of the Nazi regime at the hands of Soviet troops.
RIA Novosti reported on May 2 that Nizhny Novgorod resident Alexander Deich noticed the buttons and then arrived at the shop in question with journalists in tow to attempt to purchase them. However, the man selling the buttons reacted aggressively to the jouranlists’ cameras, pushed the group out of the store, and forcibly took away their purchases.