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Russian Gymnast Faces Investigation After Bearing ‘Z’ Symbol On Leotard Next To Ukrainian Rival On Podium

It keeps getting worse…


A Russian gymnast is facing investigation and disciplinary action after sporting a symbol in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine during the event

A video has recently surfaced of the Russian gymnast, Ivan Kuliak, displaying an insignia linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine – the letter ‘Z’ – on his leotard, as he stepped onto the medal podium. 

This comes after the increasing conflict between Russia and the Ukraine that has dated back since The Soviet Union, coming to a head in the past few weeks, when Russian president Vladimir Putin mounted an invasion of major Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv, rendering streets ravaged with war and many homeless. 

Countries around the world have come out in support of Ukraine and its leaders, with many decrying Putins actions. As such, The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has opened disciplinary proceedings against Ivan Kuliak for his “shocking behaviour”. Watch the clip here:

In the clip, Kuliak steps onto the podium after he finished third in the parallel bars final at the Apparatus World Cup. The “Z” symbol is prominent in the centre of his leotard, as he stood next to Ukraine’s Kovtun Illia, the gold medallist.

The symbol was many military vehicles including Russian tanks before quickly becoming been embraced by some as a show of support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The symbol itself derives from the Russian За победу, which begins with a “z” sound and means “for the victory”.

Written By

Freelance writer and journalist with an MA in English literature. He's been known to cry at sunsets and laugh in the face of ennui. Not lover nor fighter, but a man and barely one that.

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