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Thursday 30 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Leah Farrell Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko
# russian protests
Ukrainian ambassador calls for 'Z' symbol to be banned following pro-Russian protest in Dublin
The symbol appeared on some cars that took part in a protest in Dublin over the weekend.

THE UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR to Ireland has called for the Russian ‘Z’ symbol in support of the invasion of Ukraine to be banned in Ireland, following protests using the letter in Dublin over the weekend.

The letter ‘Z’ has become a symbol of support for the Russian invasion since it began in late February, with it appearing on billboards, clothing and apartment blocks in Russia.

Ukrainian Ambassador Larysa Gerasko called for the symbol to be prohibited in a tweet last night.

“Such rallies & Russian Z swastika should be prohibited! This “show” took place in Dublin today,” said Gerasko.

The Ukrainian Embassy itself also spoke out against the use of the symbol, calling it “absolutely disgusting” and saying that those who used it demonstrated “their complete disrespect” for Ireland and the Irish people.

Video published by the Embassy shows a fleet of cars with Russian flags attached, including vehicles with the ‘Z’ symbol painted on the hood and windows of cars.

The video appears to have originated within a private Russian Facebook group with approximately 19,500 members. The group purports to be for Russians in Ireland against censorship.

“‘Z’, the symbol of killings & atrocities, must be prohibited by law in every democratic state,” said the Embassy in a tweet.

The symbol first caught widespread attention when Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak displayed the letter Z on his leotard on a podium in Doha in early March.

The symbol was first spotted on Russian vehicles before and during the invasion of Ukraine and had previously appeared on vehicles during the annexation of Crimea and during the Syrian civil war.

russia-daily-life AP / PA Images The Z symbol appears on a building in Russia AP / PA Images / PA Images

There have been interpretations of the symbol as meaning “for victory” from the Russian phrase “Za pobedy”, according to US-based researcher Kamil Galeev.

Additional reporting by Stephen McDermott

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