Since the beginning of the war, the Munich police have registered at least six attacks on Ukrainians living in Munich or on supporters of the country invaded by Putin’s troops. The state protection of the police headquarters confirmed this when asked by the SZ. In at least one case, the criminal police are investigating a 40-year-old German on suspicion of condoning crimes.
On the evening of April 5, the man attacked employees at an information stand of an organization that helps refugees in Ukraine. The drunk attacker pushed a 27-year-old against the upper body and slightly injured him. He also threw a soda can at a 30-year-old. The homeless 40-year-old vandalized the information stand, bullied Ukrainian nationals and audibly endorsed the Russian attack on Ukraine. He shouted Nazi slogans. The attacker, who according to the police has no direct personal connection to the Russian Federation, was taken into custody. He faces multiple assault charges, property damage, incitement to hatred and using unconstitutional organization symbols.
Anyone who publicly approves of the Russian war of aggression against the neighboring country is liable to prosecution in Germany – for example by displaying the “Z” symbol used by Russian troops. Bavarian government members have pointed this out in the past few days. Anyone who approves a crime – and this includes waging a war of aggression – “in a way that is likely to disturb the public peace, publicly, in a meeting or by disseminating content (…)”, threatens the penal code with money – or imprisonment for up to three years.
The Frankfurt police, for example, recently made it clear during a pro-Russian motorcade that slogans such as “Donbass belongs to Russia” or the display of flags from the former Soviet Union or the separatist areas already give rise to initial suspicion. The Munich police do not want to be looked at in the cards. “Here it is always necessary to examine the respective individual case,” it says on request. “The respective conditions that were issued in the notice of the meeting are also important.” So far, however, no pro-Russian meetings have been registered in Munich.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Munich police have registered further attacks on Ukrainians living in the city, their shops or vehicles. On February 28, according to a police spokesman, a 20-year-old was insulted by a bus driver at the Studentenstadt bus stop. On March 4, a 68-year-old Ukrainian reported damage to his parked car in the Heidemannstrasse area. Between March 12 and 14, a shop window of a Ukrainian grocery store in the Sonnenstrasse area was damaged. On the night of March 23, the car of a 32-year-old Ukrainian national was soiled with faeces and a flag attached to it was stolen. Just two days later, the tires of a Ukrainian’s parked car were damaged in the area of the Carl-Orff-Bogen.
The gate of the Russian Consulate General was smeared with red paint
In addition, a pro-Russian Telegram channel calls for the desecration of the grave of the Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, who was murdered in Munich in 1959. The grave, which has been damaged several times in the past and is a place of pilgrimage for Ukrainian nationalists, is being monitored by the Munich police. Since the beginning of the war it has been decorated again and again by Bandera admirers, and there have been no attacks so far.
On the other hand, an attack against the Russian Consulate General on Maria-Theresia-Strasse in Bogenhausen is documented. On the Saturday after the start of the Ukraine war, several people threw bottles onto the site. A window was damaged. The entrance gate was smeared with red paint. Police officers were able to arrest a 28-year-old from Munich as a suspect. On its website, the diplomatic mission calls on Russians to report “discrimination against Russian-speaking citizens living in Germany” by email or telegram.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution warns that the Russian Embassy is deliberately exaggerating the actual extent of attacks or discrimination against people of Russian origin in Germany on its website and in social networks under the hashtag “StopHatingRussians” and is resorting to unverifiable allegations. The embassy’s website reports that “flags and posters insulting Russian President Vladimir Putin” were shown in Munich.