Ukraine's State Border Guard Service proudly reported on its haul of 'dangerous contraband' on Sunday. According to officials, a Moldovan national in a Dacia Logan attempted to cross into Ukraine with a package of 25 ribbons of St. George in his glove box on Saturday.
Caught, the man tried to explain to the border officials that the ribbons were a gift he received in Russia during the regular campaign ahead of Victory Day, and that he simply forgot about them.
Local law enforcement were informed about the incident, and the man was barred entry, and banned from coming into Ukraine for a period of three years.
Following the Maidan coup, and after anti-Kiev unrest that began in eastern Ukraine in the spring of 2014, Ukrainian officials and nationalist activists started a campaign against the Ribbon of St. George, calling it a Russian 'propaganda symbol'. Amid the unrest in the east, the ribbon has been used by demonstrators as a symbol of disagreement with Kiev authorities' anti-Russian attitudes, and eventually, by militia units which formed to fight the Ukrainian army that was sent into the region to crush dissent in April 2014.
The Ribbon of St. George goes along with the Order of St. George, as well as the Soviet Order of Glory. The ribbon's colors symbolize the flames of war and gun smoke that a soldier goes through to earn the decoration. The Ribbon of St. George campaign was first launched in Russia in 2005, when commemorative ribbons were first distributed.