A Soviet-era MiG-15 in flight. Photo Mark Von Raesfeld
Vladimir Putin sought to resurrect Soviet symbols as part of his efforts to revive the nation’s military power
Associated Press | Apr 9, 2009
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian lawmakers on Wednesday reversed their earlier decision to have Soviet-era red stars on military aircraft repainted in three colors of the national flag.
The Kremlin-controlled lower house of parliament voted 408-0 with one abstention to keep the five-pointed stars red and only add stripes in the national colors around their contour.
The move reverses the preliminary approval in December of a bill that called for repainting the stars in red, white and blue.
The ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Sergei Shishkarev, the chief of parliament’s transport committee, as saying that the original measure had drawn public protests.
“People feared … depriving Russians of a symbol of their great victories,” Shishkarev was quoted as saying.
Red stars have adorned the nation’s military aircraft since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and are a powerful symbol. The Defense Ministry’s daily newspaper is named Krasnaya Zvezda, Russian for Red Star.
During his eight-year presidency, Vladimir Putin sought to resurrect Soviet symbols as part of his efforts to revive the nation’s military power and global prestige. On his initiative, Russia restored the old Soviet national anthem — albeit with new lyrics. Putin continues to play the dominant role in the nation’s politics as the powerful prime minister.