A 'freedom of speech' campaigner has been hit with backlash after flying a Russian flag outside her home in Lymington, Hampshire.
An image of the white, blue and red flag was posted to Facebook by user Darren Gregory after he spotted it positioned at full mast outside a neighbour's home this month. Alongside the image, he wrote: "Just looked out my bedroom window to find this flapping around in the wind in one of my neighbours back garden what a kn*b I can’t believe someone would do this."
Many social media users responded to the scene with fury, with some branding it as a 'sick joke' while others said it was a 'slap in the face of all of the victims' of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, but the owner of the flag appeared to find the response funny as she shared a screenshot of the Facebook post and captioned it with laughing emojis.
Alongside the image, she added: "So I've p*ssed off the neighbours".
Another resident, identified with the pseudonym Karen, said the flag was first spotted on March 10 but that it was taken down the next day after the landlord got in touch to ask the owner to remove it.
Karen claimed to have heard the owner of the flag yelling about 'triggered little snowflakes' after she took down the flag, which had reportedly taken the spot of a 'support [Donald] Trump' flag.
The resident described the flag as 'very insensitive', saying there was 'no need for it at all'.
"My neighbour is not Russian", Karen said, adding, "She was doing it because she can, because she likes her opinions seen. If I had maybe been Ukrainian or one of my other neighbours, would she have still done it? But I wasn't shocked at all. She usually flies a ‘support Trump flag’ so a Russian flag in her garden it wasn't a shock. It's to cause drama, to share her support of Putin and because she believes she has the right to do so."
"My neighbour never fails to surprise me", she continued. "She is doing this to provoke people. It just reminds me that I live so closely to [someone with these views] and it disgusts me. I'm glad it's been taken down but I don’t doubt it will be back. I wonder what she'll come up with next."
The woman who claims to have erected the flag is said to regularly share posts in support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, as well as alleging the war in Ukraine is 'fake'.
In response to the news that the government was offering members of the public £350 a month for taking in Ukrainian refugees, the woman wrote: "No money for our own. But money for a fake war. Utter f*cking scum."
Throughout the pandemic, the woman has campaigned for 'freedom of speech'.
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Featured Image Credit: Kennedy/Alamy
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