Investigation After 'Nazi Monkey' Appears In Russian Circus
Officials in Russia have launched an investigation after a circus used monkeys and goats dressed in Nazi clothing.
The show featured a monkey in a full Nazi uniform as well as goats draped in flags with swastikas on.
In Russia, Nazi symbols are banned but last year Vladimir Putin signed an exemption which means they can be used if they are shown in a negative way.
The show was in the State Circus of Udmurtia in Izhevsk and was commissioned by the Russian Orthodox Church.
It received a huge backlash after photos appeared online with many condemning the use of Nazi imagery.
In response, the Church has said the show was highlighting the Soviet victory over Hitler.
A spokesperson said: "The performance of trainers wearing Soviet military uniforms with animals carrying Nazi symbols was used as an image not only of victory over fascism."
Adding that the performance highlighted 'worldwide condemnation of the ideals of Nazi Germany.
"You need to understand that a special feature of circus art is entertainment, and there is nothing surprising in the fact that the images used in it have an ironic and sometimes even grotesque character."
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The show depicted a crucial turning point in the battle to save Moscow from Nazis in January 1942, according to local media.
The circus said the show had been ordered by the church and 'trainers in the form of Red Army soldiers chase trained animals wearing Nazi symbols'.
Both the church and the circus claim they have committed no crime because the Nazi symbols are not used for propaganda.
Rashid Khusnutdinov, chairman of the public chamber of Udmurtia, said: "The unnatural and misanthropic nature of Nazism should in no way be hushed up.
"For these purposes, the law allows the use of Nazi symbols.
"For example, we see this in a number of wonderful Soviet films about the Great Patriotic (Second World) War."
In a statement, prosecutors have said they first came across the performance while monitoring the Internet and have go on to launch 'an investigation into the display of Nazi symbols'.
As yet, they have not given an update on the investigation.
Featured Image Credit: east2west
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