Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliyak precipitated fairly a stir on the Gymnastics World Cup in Doha on Saturday. The Worldwide Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has demanded that an athlete be punished for carrying the alphabet on his shirt.
Kuliyak was seen carrying the letter ‘Z’ on the entrance of his shirt when he appeared on the rostrum subsequent to Ukrainian gymnast Kovtun Ilya, who received the gold medal. This created a storm, because the letter ‘Z’ is broadly believed to point out assist for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
At the World Cup in Doha, Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliyak showed his support for Russian aggression in Ukraine by wearing a T-shirt with the letter Z on it
On the World Cup in Doha, Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliyak confirmed his assist for Russian aggression in Ukraine by carrying a T-shirt with the letter Z on it

“The Worldwide Gymnastics Federation confirms that it’s going to ask the Gymnastics Ethics Basis to provoke disciplinary proceedings towards Ivan Kuliak following his surprising habits on the Home equipment World Cup in Doha, Qatar,” FIG mentioned in an announcement.

Decoding the mysterious ‘Z’

The Russian army is making use of the letter ‘Z’ on its automobiles headed to Ukraine, stylized in a thick brushstroke in white – both by itself or surrounded by a white triangle, sq. or circle. It was first seen on Russian army automobiles rolling down the Donetsk area of Ukraine on February 22.

In line with Kamil Galev, a former Galina Starovoitova Fellow on Human Rights and Battle Decision on the Wilson Middle – a Washington DC-based assume tank, “some individuals interpret the ‘z’ as “za pobedi” (for victory). Others – As in “Zapad (West),” the scholar mentioned on Twitter.

Curiously, regardless of not being within the Cyrillic Russian alphabet, the letter ‘Z’ seems to have woven itself into Russian wartime legend. The insignia, which is the Latin script, has turn out to be an emblem of invasion internally.

Keep away from Pleasant Fireplace Dangers

Initially, social media speculated that the image could have been a option to depict infantry.

A report in The Solar quoted a supply in Kyiv as saying that the emblems have been necessary to separate forces and keep away from the danger of pleasant fireplace. “It can be crucial that any attacking power could be remoted particularly from the air the place the Russian army can have full management. Ukrainians have very comparable tanks and automobiles and want to reduce the danger of pleasant fireplace,” the supply reportedly mentioned.

A Sky Information report quoted Michael Clarke, former director of protection assume tank Royal United Companies Institute (RUSI), as saying that the symbols are more likely to be linked to the geographic location the place the items can be deployed for fight. “Typically these symbols can be location-based — they might talk the place a unit goes. In the event that they have been solely meant to mark automobiles as being Russian, you may solely use one image,” he reportedly mentioned. However mentioned.

Whereas Russian army officers haven’t formally mentioned something in regards to the symbols, in keeping with army consultants, the ‘Z’ marking, together with different symbols, is depicted to point that army items are headed shortly earlier than deployment. it was performed.

Struggle assist – in spirit and in ruble

Not solely on automobiles, however the image has discovered its approach onto indicators and T-shirts of ultra-right, pro-Russian protesters who’ve worn it as a present of assist for the invasion of Russia.

Not solely 20-year-old Ivan Kuliyak, but additionally Russian lawmaker Maria Butina, who was convicted in 2018 of appearing as a international agent and lately free of a US jail, is seen in a video eradicating his blazer. and was seen pulling ‘Z’. ‘ On his area.

Butina, a member of the Russian State Duma, additionally posted an image of herself and colleagues in a ‘Z’ T-shirt. Politician Mikhail Deligin additionally reportedly wore a badge with a ‘Z’ at a gathering of the State Duma or parliament.

Russian MP Maria Butina on the other left posted a photo of herself and colleagues in a 39Z39 t-shirt
Russian MP Maria Butina (second left) posted an image of herself and colleagues in a ‘Z’ T-shirt.

In line with media reviews, Russia In the present day, a Kremlin-funded TV channel, can also be promoting ‘Z’ merchandise. The unisex t-shirts are on sale for 1,190 rubles, and Chanel has mentioned the proceeds from the sale are reportedly going to a charity that helps ‘youngsters of struggle’. Such is the Russian assist for the symbol, that funeral providers have been additionally seen displaying assist for the invasion, with a ‘Z’ prominently painted on their vans.

In line with The Impartial, this emblem additionally seems on automobiles in Crimea, when it was annexed by Russia in 2014. Moreover the ‘Z’, different symbols depicted on Russian army automobiles are a triangle with two traces on both aspect, a circle with three factors inside, and a bigger triangle with a smaller triangle inside.

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensifies, pro-Putin politicians and influencers have drawn criticism in media retailers and on social media for displaying the letter ‘Z’.


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