Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak causes OUTRAGE in World Cup event after wearing a national war symbol on his shirt while sharing the podium with Ukranian rival Illia Kovtun
- Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak has sparked uproar at a World Cup event in Doha
- Kuliak wore a Russian war symbol on his shirt when collecting his bronze medal
- He was sharing the podium with the event winner – Ukrainian star Illia Kovtun
Gymnast Ivan Kuliak caused outrage on Saturday by wearing a Russian war symbol on his shirt while sharing a podium with a Ukrainian rival.
Former Russian junior champion Kuliak had just finished third behind winner Ukraine’s Illia Kovtun in the parallel bars at a World Cup event in Doha.
And as the gymnasts were pictured standing shoulder to shoulder to collect their medals, clearly visible was a letter ‘Z’ taped across the middle of Kuliak’s shirt.
The letter Z, which symbolically represents ‘victory’ in Russian, is daubed on to the front of Vladimir Putin’s tanks and other military vehicles.
Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak caused outrage by wearing a national war symbol on the podium
Kuliak, 20, received military training with the Russian army last year.
The Z on his shirt was in place of the Russian flag, been banned by the International Gymnastics Federation, which has also cancelled all events in Russia and Belarus.
Pro-Putin politicians, activists and influencers have also been spotted wearing clothes and badges with the letter ‘Z’ on to show their support for the war. ‘Z’ merchandise is being sold by Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded TV channel.
The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that ‘Z’ means victory.
Kuliak was sharing the podium in Doha with first-place Ukrainian gymnast Illia Kovtun