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Updated May 10th, 2022 at 15:18 IST

Olympic champ Angelina Melnikova poses with Russian war symbol at Victory Day parade

Angelina Melnikova posed alongside Russian military veterans and looked upon Red Square processions the pictures of which was posted by her on her Instagram.

Reported by: Suraj Alva
Angelina Melnikova displays Z symbol
Image: AP | Image:self
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Russian athletes have already faced the repercussions of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with governing bodies and top competitions across the sports world banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in major events. Russia's Tokyo Olympic gymnast Angelina Melnikova has now raised eyebrows with her latest gesture during Russia's Victory Day Parade while posing with military personnel.

Angelina Melnikova's war symbol display during Victory Day parade

According to a Yahoo report, Angelina Melnikova was spotted posing with the pro-war "Z" symbol at Monday's Victory Day Parade. The parade annually commemorates Russia's victory over the Nazis in World War II. The 21-year-old posed alongside Russian military veterans and looked upon the Red Square processions the pictures of which were posted by her on her Instagram account. In the various images shared by the Russian Gymnast, she can be seen standing next to an older man in his military uniform.

Melnikova is the first Russian athlete seen publicly supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine since the war began. As per the report besides Melnikova, Svetlana Khorkina, who won seven Olympic medals between 1996 and 2004, has also shared various photos including the "Z" symbol to her Instagram.

Angelina Melnikova Z Symbol display

Previously, Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak also faced disciplinary action for showing the 'Z' Symbol during the parallel bars World Cup event in Doha. Kuliak, who finished third in the parallel bars World Cup event in Doha, wore the war symbol on his chest when he went on stage to collect his bronze medal. 

Kuliak was seen wearing the letter 'Z' on his chest, which in Russia signifies victory. The invading Russian troops in Ukraine were also seen displaying a similar sign on their vehicles and tanks. Kuliak wore the letter 'Z' in place of the Russian flag, which had already been banned by nearly all international sporting federations, including the gymnastics' governing body.  The FIG had later issued a statement, where it confirmed that the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation will open disciplinary proceedings against Kuliak for his behaviour at the World Cup in Doha.

Angelina Melnikova performance at Tokyo Olympics

The 21-year-old, Angelina Melnikova helped her ROC team capture gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before collecting individual all-around and floor exercise bronze medals. Following her success at Tokyo Olympics, Melnikova just two months later with gold at the World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, becoming the third Russian woman to win the world all-around title after Svetlana Khorkina (1997, 2001, 2003) and Mustafina (2010).

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Published May 10th, 2022 at 15:18 IST

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