Russian regional authorities have spent more than one billion rubles ($13,400,000) from local budgets to buy flags, flagpoles and national symbols since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, Verstka reports, citing data from the state procurement website. According to Verstka, this is one hundred times more than they spent on that purpose during the same period in 2021-2022.
A total of 80 tenders were placed during the year, most of them under the federal program “Patriotic Upbringing of Russian Federation Citizens”, Verstka reports. Some of the symbols were purchased for Russian educational institutions, which are required since September 2022 to start every school week with raising the flag and playing the national anthem.
Several thousand flags and national emblems were purchased by the Saratov Region authorities for the local Improvement Service and Dorstroi (a road building company); in Altai, the symbols were bought by the local Center for Youth Policy and Citizen's Military and Patriotic Education and Pre-conscription Military Training, according to the publication.
Record-high state budget spending is reported in Dagestan and the Kursk Region. The Kursk Region authorities placed a tender for 51.5 million rubles ($700,000). They used the money to buy 571 sets of flags and national emblems. In turn, Dagestan spent over 125 million rubles ($1,700,000) on patriotic symbols.