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Pro-Russia Students Form Giant 'Z' During Damascus University Demonstration

Anish Vij

| Last updated 

Pro-Russia Students Form Giant 'Z' During Damascus University Demonstration

Pro-Russia students and teachers in Syria formed a giant pro-war symbol during a protest at Damascus University.

The crowd assembled into the shape of a giant 'Z' at the demonstration, which took place on Wednesday (9 March).

The symbol has been associated with being in support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Many were also waving Russia flags at the march.

The 'Z' has been seen on Russian tanks and military vehicles during the invasion of Ukraine, which has been met with widespread condemnation from the International community.

Notably, the Russian Ministry of Defence says the 'Z' symbol is an abbreviation of the phrase 'for victory'.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak sparked outrage when he wore the controversial symbol while standing on the podium alongside a Ukrainian athlete at the World Cup event in Doha, Qatar.

He finished third on the parallel bars as Ukraine’s Illia Kovtun took home the gold. However, Kuliak made sure the symbol was seen as the cameras came in close for the medal presentation ceremony.

The International Gymnastics Federations (FIG) has now said it is investigating the incident.

Credit: Doha World Cup
Credit: Doha World Cup

In a statement, it said it 'will ask the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to open disciplinary proceedings against Ivan Kuliak following his shocking behavior'.

Speaking on the incident, Kuliak said: “If there was a second chance and I had a choice whether to go out with the letter ‘Z’ on my chest or not, I would do the same. 

“I saw it on our military and looked at what this symbol means. It turned out to be ‘for victory’ and ‘for peace’. I just wanted to show my position. As an athlete, I will always fight for victory and play for peace.” 

Credit: Doha World Cup
Credit: Doha World Cup

Russian athletes are currently not allowed to compete under their own flag or have the Russian anthem played.

The FIG also announced that indefinitely from yesterday (Monday 7 March), no Russian or Belarusian gymnasts or officials will be allowed at international competitions.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Syrian Arab News Agency

Topics: Ukraine, Russia

Anish Vij
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