Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Thursday, 23 February 2006

Moscow stung by US warship gaffe

Russian Veterans' Day poster showing USS Missouri
A Moscow official said about 20 of the posters had gone up

The authorities in Moscow have hastily removed posters congratulating Russian war veterans which mistakenly showed the American warship USS Missouri.

The posters were taken down on Wednesday - just hours before Defender of the Motherland Day.

The Russian defence ministry said it did not produce the posters.

A Moscow city hall official said the design "should have been shown to specialists who can distinguish one battleship from another".

A defence ministry spokesman, Vyacheslav Sedov, said "it was a civilian firm that produced the poster, and the people who made it were simply incompetent".

"We do have similar ships, beautiful ships. They should have used one of those," he added.

The head of Moscow city hall's advertising committee, Vladimir Makarov, told that "fine journalists from Moskovsky Komsomolets [newspaper]" spotted the error and "we quickly removed the posters".

"Designers do the drawings, we look at them and approve them - in this case, of course, a mistake was made," he said.

A similar mistake was made last year when for 23 February postcards appeared in Crimea showing a World War II German T-3 tank and an American M60A tank.

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