Ukrainian court bans hammer-and-sickle Communist flag
Ukraine's supreme court on Friday outlawed the use of the Soviet Union's hammer-and-sickle red flag for official events, marking a rare victory for the country's pro-Europe political camp, DPA reported.
The high court struck down an April law enacted by the country's parliament that allowed the display of the Soviet flag from government buildings on official holidays.
The law mandated the display of the Soviet flag on May 9, the date Ukraine marks the Allied victory in World War Two.
Widespread display of the Soviet flag in the western city of Lviv touched off riots in May, as many people living there see the Red Army as a foreign occupier rather than a liberator.
The Soviet flag, though possessing historical importance, is not an official state symbol and so may not be displayed from public buildings or used at official events, the court ruled.
Private display of the Soviet or any other flag by individuals in Ukraine is legal and constitutionally protected.
Ukraine's parliament and government are controlled by politicians favouring closer relations with Russia. Most consider the Soviet legacy positive.
Western Ukraine, which was historically separate from Russia, was invaded three times by Soviet forces in the 20th century.