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Property Manager in Siberia Apologies for Painting Curbside in Ukrainian Flag Colors

The head of a property management company in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk issued a public apology after residents complained about a curbside that was painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, media reported.

“It’s already being painted over [into red and blue],” Vladimir Simonov, who heads the property management company, told the online news website Podyom.

Simonov appeared to blame a migrant worker employed at his company for covering the curbside with yellow and blue paint.

“There are five colors to paint the benches and curb. We have a worker, a friend from [Central] Asia, I call him. And he chose these two colors,” he said. “I’m personally against [the colors], for me it is nonsense. I apologize.”

Since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian authorities have cracked down on any public displays of the Ukrainian flag, and in some cases, simply the combination of yellow and blue — such as on clothing or in art  can attract the attention of law enforcement. 

Given the lack of legal clarity about displaying the colors yellow and blue, some Russians have rushed to clear away anything that could be interpreted as support for Ukraine. Sometimes farcically, this has included buildings and public facilities being repainted or renovated to get rid of the yellow-and-blue combination.

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