If we agree that the symbols of the preceding epochs, including the Soviet epoch, mustn’t be used at all, we will have to admit then that our mothers’ and fathers’ lives were useless and meaningless, that their lives were lived in vain. Neither in my head nor in my heart can I agree with this.
There was already a period in our history when we rewrote everything anew. We can do the same today too. We can rewrite the flag, the anthem and the coat-of-arms. But then surely we will become people with no memory of where we come from.
Putin address, ORT, 4 Dec 2000