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Russian Students Dressed In White Gowns Emblazoned With 'Z' Symbol Host Eerie Pro-War Rally

Russian Students Dressed In White Gowns Emblazoned With 'Z' Symbol Host Eerie Pro-War Rally

Students in the Russian city of Kazan have staged a pro-war rally after being told by university administrators the event was compulsory.

Russian students wearing white jackets emblazoned with a black 'Z' symbol have staged a pro-war rally at a Kazan university.

In footage released on social media, the students in the patriotic flash mob can be seen chanting while saluting and raising their fists to the sky.

The group descended on a Kazan shopping centre before chanting 'Russia for peace' and 'forward Russia'.

The footage of the demonstration is already being compared to the Nazi Youth under dictator Adolf Hitler.

The chilling video appears to show the students from Kazan State University of Culture and Arts have been brainwashed by Putin's misinformation campaign.

However it has since been revealed that students were threatened with expulsion if they did not attend.

German journalist Julian Roepcke initially reported that students could only get out of the mandatory demonstration with 'an explanatory note'.

Other residents of Kazan have taken to social media to back up Roepcke's claims.

"The head of university made [the] rule that every student... must go there and sing it," Twitter user Khaidar Khasanov posted.

Khasanov alleged that university administrators threatened to punish students by not paying out scholarships or by kicking them out of university altogether.

The Twitter user added that another university also took action, with the letter 'Z' made visible 'by the light from windows'.

"In this action was [a] student who wrote 'no war' [in the] Russian language and raised it to camera," the Kazan resident said.

"He was carried out from this place. Right now he must go to head of the university and [explain] why he did this.

"I think he will be expelled."

The 'Z' symbol has become synonymous with Russia's invasion into Ukraine after soldiers started painting it on military vehicles.

Although the letter 'Z' does not exist in the Russian alphabet, military experts have interpreted the Z as standing for 'Za pobedy', Russian for 'for victory' or as 'Zapad' for “West'.

Russian defence policy expert Rob Lee said the symbol might refer specifically to military contingents assigned to fight in Ukraine.

“It appears Russian forces near the border are painting markers, in this case ‘Z’, on vehicles to identify different task forces or echelons,” Lee tweeted on February 19.

Others have suggested the 'Z' might stand for the Kremlin’s 'target number one': Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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: Twitter/Julian Röpcke/Rich Siegel

Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine