Pro-Russian motorcades in Germany, intended to support Moscow's war against Ukraine, have provoked outrage in German politics and calls for criminal sanctions.

On Sunday, 900 people in Berlin drove 450 cars for three hours, honking loudly, from Ahrensfelde in the east of the city to the Olympic Square in the west.

Many cars were provided with the white, blue and red Russian flag.

There was also a parade in Bonn with 400 vehicles and 500 participants, with Russian flags being waved.

Markus Wehner

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, wrote on Twitter to Berlin's governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) on Monday: "For heaven's sake, how could you allow this car parade of shame in the middle of Berlin?" Giffey showed understanding for him Aggravation.

Support rallies for the war of aggression would be prosecuted, she said on ZDF on Tuesday.

"But this demonstration itself, showing the Russian flag, is not prohibited," she added.

The demonstration in Berlin was registered under the motto "No propaganda in the school - protection for Russian-speaking people, no discrimination".

The applicant was an individual, according to press reports a Berlin car dealer, who had advertised the parade on social media.

There was also a pro-Russian demonstration in Bad Kreuznach.

Another pro-Russian motorcade is planned for Frankfurt am Main on Sunday.

politicians reserved

Domestic politicians from several parties reacted indignantly to the demonstrations of sympathy for Putin and the attack on Ukraine.

Thuringia's Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) called them "intolerable", his colleague Herbert Reul (CDU) from North Rhine-Westphalia said he could not understand how one could take sides with a war criminal.

Politicians were reluctant to ban demonstrations.

Germany is characterized by the fact that peaceful protest "is not beaten down by the police, but protected," Reul told the "Rheinische Post".

The FDP interior expert Stephan Thomae called the demonstrations "macabre and tasteless".

Public approval of a war of aggression would be a criminal offence.

The possibility of criminal prosecution must therefore be examined, he demanded.

A vehicle with the Z symbol was also on the move in the Berlin parade, a symbol used in Russia to support the war against Ukraine.

According to the police, it was stopped and criminal investigations were initiated.

In Germany, the symbol has been banned by the interior ministers of several countries.

In addition, according to Article 140 of the Criminal Code, a fine or imprisonment of up to three years can be imposed on persons who approve of a criminal offense "which is likely to disturb public peace".

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